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Florida Mom Lets Snake Bite Baby As A Learning Lesson, Posts Video On Facebook.

A Florida mother could be facing a possible child abuse charge after she allegedly posted a video on Facebook that showed her 1-year-old daughter getting bitten by a red rat snake - a move that left many outraged. 

The footage no longer exists, but the Highlands County mother, Chartelle Geanette St. Laurent, 34, told (http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/desoto-highlands-hardee-regional-news/highlands-mom-allows-snake-to-bite-baby-to-teach-a-lesson) ABC Action News  on Tuesday that she has no qualms about her baby getting up close and personal with the reptile. 

St. Laurent reportedly found the snake in the driveway of the family house in Sebring, Florida. She allegedly wanted her daughter to interact with the snake in an attempt to teach the child not to fear animals.

"It had bitten me and my son and didn't leave a mark, several times," she told WFTS, Tampa Bay's (http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/desoto-highlands-hardee-regional-news/highlands-mom-allows-snake-to-bite-baby-to-teach-a-lesson) ABC Action News . "So, I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce her without actually getting hurt."

The Highlands County Sheriff's Office investigated and determined that deliberately placing her child in contact with the snake is reason enough to charge St. Laurent with abuse.  

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As for the video, St. Laurent thinks that people are "too sensitive," which prompted her to delete the video of her child and the snake. 

"People are too sensitive," she said. "They just think that I hurt my child intentionally. The people that know me know that I would never hurt my children."

St. Laurent claimed that her daughter did not sustain any injury from the bite, although she admits that the child may have been frightened by the snake's sudden attack. 

READ: (http://www.ibtimes.com/long-lost-lizard-species-survived-humans-rediscovered-2533694) Long-Lost Lizard Species Survived Humans, Rediscovered

"His teeth are too small to actually puncture the skin," St. Laurent told ABC Action News. "So he's very harmless."

St. Laurent also told ABC Action News that it's vital for her children to become familiar with the surrounding wildlife and know how to navigate potential danger that could be lurking near their 9-acre Highlands County home. 

"She's not scared of snakes, but she doesn't want to touch them, either," St. Laurent said. "That was my goal."

Though this most likely isn't the best way to instill a fearlessness into a child, it isn't the first time a parent has attempted to calm and familiarize a child with the presence of a potentially harmful animal. 

Tony Harrison taught his two-year-old son how to catch snakes carefully. The snake-catching professional is trying to get his son to follow in his reptile-wrangling footsteps. 

"I think every kid copies their parents and we eat, sleep and s*** snakes," he told the (http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/gold-coast-toddler-jensen-harrison-embraces-life-as-a-snake-catcher-at-two-years-old/news-story/07665166b1930b07d228248c39edec85) Gold Coast Bulletin  on Monday

"We've got more than 100 reptiles at home so every waking moment is spent around snakes," he continued. "If we're not catching or doing shows with snakes, we're cleaning or feeding them."

Harrison took 20 years to build what is currently a prosperous business extracting unwanted creatures from the homes of Gold Coast residents. 

Harrison has also faced criticism from people who have seen images of his two-year-old handling a snake.

"It's second nature to him," Harrison said. "He thinks everyone else is weird because they don't have snakes."
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Jun 7, 2017
Words:575
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