Mom who let snake bite baby leaves local snake expert in shock

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After decades of breeding and selling snakes, you can only imagine the odd stories Joe Fauci has heard about the reptiles. But the local snake expert says he would not believe this one if it hadn’t been caught on video.

On Wednesday, News Channel 8 visited Southeast Reptile Exchange, which Fauci has owned since 1972 to show him the now infamous “snake bites baby” video.  After viewing the video, Fauci simply shook his head and for a moment was at a loss for words.

“I think it’s crazy letting a child get bit, especially a child that small,” said Fauci.

We got a similar reaction from a mother-of-two when we showed her the video at Al Lopez Park.

“Oh, my God!,” she said as she jumped back from the video screen.

When we asked her if she would ever do that to one of her children, she replied, “Never! Even…like to say I’m scared just with the phone.”

And while it’s hard for many people to wrap their minds around the mother’s decision to introduce her daughter’s to the dangers of snakes, her own mother Brenda St. Laurent, defended the lesson —even going so far to confirm they quote “tested the snake’s bite” on the baby’s older brother and mother.

Brenda tells us, “The bite did nothing. It didn’t break the skin. None of that and we tested it before. I mean, it’s just a baby snake.”

As for the snake expert’s thoughts on whether the child learned a lesson? He says, “I think it’ll probably grab the next one just like it did that one.”

The State Attorney’s Office is now reviewing the case. If prosecutors deem a crime has been committed, they will advise deputies to make the arrest.

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