Baby wrapped in a python

John Baran got a shock when he received this picture of his grandaughter Lily being cradled by a 4m Burmese python.

CHILD welfare advocates have criticised a Sunshine Coast couple for wrapping their baby girl in a snake for a family photograph, labelling the stunt “absurd”.

The photograph shows four-month-old Lily Cooper being cradled by a 4m Burmese python and was taken at Australia Zoo, where both her parents are employees.

Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Joe Tucci said no photo opportunity could justify putting a baby in danger.

“If this photo is true, I can’t see how there is not some risk that the baby will be hurt in some way,” Mr Tucci said.

The photograph has revived memories of a similar controversy in 2004, when the zoo’s founder, Steve Irwin, was filmed cradling his infant son, Bob, in one arm while feeding a giant crocodile meat from the other.

“Wildlife encounters at Australia Zoo are provided under safe and supervised conditions,” the zoo said

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