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Wildlife Expert Slammed For Letting 2-Year-Old Play With Giant Snake

Wildlife Expert Slammed For Letting 2-Year-Old Play With Snake: ‘Call Child Services’!

Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright is catching heat for letting his 2-year-old son Banjo play with a massive snake!

The animal expert has made a name for himself by risking his life to relocate dangerous critters on his National Geographic show, but it seems he may have taken his wildlife adventures too far this time.

Last week, the proud father was happy to share a behind-the-scenes video of Banjo tugging on the tail of what looks like an olive python, Australia’s second-largest constrictor (which can grow to over 10 feet long). And the internet was NOT here for it!

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The clip (below) starts with the young boy pulling the snake away from his father and a cameraman until he drops the tail — giving the creature a moment to start wrapping itself around a wooden pillar. That prompts Matt to yell:

“Pull him out!”

After yanking at the tail for a few seconds, the kiddo then gets flustered (naturally, there’s a scary animal in front of him!). He runs to his father who is standing by the snake’s head. Not a safe place to be, we would think! As a joke (or a learning opportunity, as the TV personality would probably say), he shouts for his son to get back to work, teasing:

“Quick, grab him, he’s going to bite Dad.”

While nobody is acting like there’s any danger, even the very idea that Wright would joke about the snake biting him and putting all that pressure on the bewildered child pissed a lot of fans off! Many condemned the daredevil actions, calling the moment “stupid and wrong,” while one IG user pointed out a glaring problem with this lesson:

“Next week:- kid playing in backyard on their own sees a red belly black, runs over and grabs it on the tail. Kid bitten . This child is not old enough to make an accurate assessments on what snakes are safe and what are not. Heck most adults can’t.”

Whoa. Good point!

Others felt equally bad for the poor animal and child, noting:

“Snake is not a toy”

“Normally i love your videos but i’m not a fan of this behavior. No need to stress the animal just for an Instagram video..”

“In America they would call child services lol”

Like any social media controversy, there was a separate section of the crocodile egg collector’s feed sticking up for him, too:

“He’s teaching [him] not to be afraid and to respect the animal gently and humanely at such a young age”

“Banjo! What a legend”

“This man is very clever there is no way he would put his child in danger or a snake”

Others noted the similarities between Matt and the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, who also made headlines when interacting with deadly creatures while his kids were around, such as when he fed a croc while holding his then-baby son Robert in 2004. Clearly, his kids grew up safe and loving nature since they still work at the zoo! Maybe some of these situations aren’t as dangerous as they look?!

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We can assume this won’t be the last controversy the Save This Rhino alum faces. He’s been accused of animal cruelty before, specifically in 2017 after he allegedly duct-taped the jaws of a 16-foot crocodile shut. But, again, he received just as much support as he did hate. Many argued on his behalf, suggesting he was protecting those helping to relocate the animal rather than others who would “just shoot it.”

We gotta admit, duct-taping a dangerous animal’s mouth shut for the safety of others vs. encouraging your child to play with a potentially life-threatening reptile feel like two very different situations. We’d hate to see something go wrong with 2-year-old Banjo in the mix…

See the shocking footage (below)!

Reactions, Perezcious readers? Was this reckless behavior or do you think the child was safer than naysayers believe? Let us know in the comments (below)!

[Image via Matt Wright/Instagram]

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Oct 07, 2021 10:12am PDT