It’s always been fascinating to us that different people have different phobias and fears. Some people can’t stand being near spiders, whilst others are totally fine with spiders – but absolutely terrified of snakes. Some people are frightened of less commonly-feared animals such as dogs or birds. But where do these fears come from? Some people theorize that they are evolutionary, while others argue that our upbringing has a lot to do with our fears.
Whatever the reason, one snake-owner aims to change the way many people feel about snakes by posting YouTube videos of him and his three daughters playing with their 13-foot Burmese python.
Recently, he posted a video that caused a bit of a social media uproar as it shows his then 14-month-old daughter playing with the snake and climbing onto it. The video had a mixed reaction and we’d love to know what you think!
Jamie Guarino is a professional snake handler who runs the YouTube account SnakeHuntersTV. He owns a huge python named Nay Nay, and his channel features videos of himself and his daughters feeding the great snake, as well as playing with it and even getting bitten, which he always plays off as a lighthearted moment (see video titled: “Funny snake bite,” or, “Girl gets giggles when snake bites her”).
Jamie says that his channel’s aim is to “Reach out to the world with our simple slogan – ‘Snakes Are NOT Evil Creatures.'” He adds:
“Our main mission & goal has always been to educate the public who have had an irrational fear of Snakes for no reason other than what they have been taught. In an effort to subdue the fears of the general public we find it necessary to show the true colors of these fascinating Reptiles!”
Jamie generally has had a positive reaction to his videos, but when he posted a clip of his then 14-month-old baby playing with Nay Nay, some people questioned whether he had taken things a step too far. One user commented:
“This guy has a love for his snakes, which is perfectly fine, but it’s made him blind to the fact that is DOES remain a dangerous animal, especially towards a baby.”
Others feared that the snake could turn on the baby at any point- a fear that we can’t help feeling ourselves!
Jamie responded to people’s concerns by saying:
“When people see this clip they mostly react with fear or negativity. And I don’t understand why. This is an embedded fear, and I think people are brainwashed.”
He added: “To those of you who might see this video as irresponsible or dangerous, please take a minute. Don’t judge based on fear or something you don’t understand. Snakes can be, and are, loving animals.”
Many people agreed with Jamie and took to the comments to fight his corner.
One person said: “Snakes are inquisitive animals and they are also very affectionate despite the mean reputation. Listen to this guy folks snakes are NOT what you think they are.”
“Have massive amounts of respect for this guy.. it’s hard for people to understand but he’s a professional he knows his snakes and you can clearly see the snake is chill not particularly interested in the little girl but more interested in having a look around.”
Meanwhile, five years on from the original video, Jamie has posted a follow-up of the snake with his daughter – and you can see they’re still clearly very close! The snake-handler addresses all the negativity he received in his first video and says, “Guess she wasn’t a food source after all.”
Jamie has certainly given us a different perspective on snakes. What do you think about it all?
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