Dad defends viral video which shows 14-month-old with snake
A video of a 9-foot python coiling itself around a baby went viral earlier this month, and it sure wasn't without controversy.
The video, which shows a huge python crawling over a 14-month-old baby girl's head and legs, caused a firestorm for the father who posted it. The baby's father told INSIDE EDITION, "I let them interact. I thought it was a very cute moment so I shot some video."
The video was actually shot in 2013, but only went viral in recent weeks. As proof that baby Alyssa wasn't hurt, the video also showed her at age three, happily playing with a snake.
When he posted the video below online, there was an immediate and furious response.
"This moron is one irresponsible father," said one post. "Why would he put his kids at risk?" asked another. One critic warned that if the python chose to attack, "she wouldn't stand a chance."
Jamie Guarino said he's an experienced snake handler and knew what he was doing. He has a YouTube channel, Snakehunters TV, and has raised the Burmese python, called Nay-Nay, since birth.
"I'm not at all surprised about the controversy. I am surprised about the overwhelming hate comments about me being a bad father," he told INSIDE EDITION.
"In the wild, Burmese pythons will bite their prey, constrict it, squeeze them to death and swallow it whole," he said -- but that doesn't deter him from letting Nay-Nay around his daughter.
Guarino insisted that Alyssa was never in any danger, and that people were upset because they are simply uneducated about snakes. He explains that he would never let his daughter around wild snakes, but Nay-Nay has been around tons of kids. "When he's in a bad mood, I don't take him out. When he hasn't eaten, I don't take him out. If I sense anything bad, he won't be around any children, or me for that matter."
Jamie told INSIDE EDITION, "... the snake only weighed 25 pounds at that time. I was the person filming a foot away and I've had years of experience and i could have stopped any bad situation."
Jamie also said he wasn't worried because "snakes don't see humans as food."
INSIDE EDITION showed the video to zoologist and TV host Jarod Miller. He said, "I think this particular decision to have a small child with a snake of this size was a pretty irresponsible decision."
In video taken by INSIDE EDITION, she and her 10-year-old sister, Krista, are still handling snakes at their dad's house outside Detroit.
INSIDE EDITION asked Alyssa, "It doesn't scare you to have this snake around your neck?" Alyssa shook her head.
"Why not?" we asked her.
Alyssa replied, "because they're not evil creatures."
After the video of baby Alyssa and Nay-Nay went viral, child protective services investigated the situation and, according to Jamie, determined the girls were not in any danger.
Jamie then said, "They looked at all the snakes. Actually two of the police officers were very nice. One of them actually held a few snakes which was real cool!"
His message to anyone looking at the "shocking video" is this: "My children's safety comes first. I would never let anything happen to them."
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