Trainers force Malaysian school children into muddy pool with python

Trainers force Malaysian school children into muddy pool with python

Malaysia has halted a team-building programme for school children after the trainers forced students to wade across a muddy pool that had a blood python in it, a senior official said Wednesday.

Snake in muddy pool
Photo from video

"We have also suspended four trainers and their six assistants. An investigation is underway into the blood python incident. It is not part of the training programme," Colonel Mohamad Noor Hassan, the head of the local Civil Defence Force, told AFP.

The incident, which took place last Saturday in northern Perak state, involved students aged between 10 to 12 years old and has sparked outrage among Malaysians after a video of the training was shared on social media.

The three-minute-long video shows a group of six girls screaming and struggling to get out of the pool with a python inside while a male trainer sprays water on them to prevent them from coming out.

"It is not our aim to traumatise the children. Having the python in the pool was never part of the programme. It is a mistake. I am sorry it... happened," Hassan said.

WARNING: Video may upset sensitive viewers

The blood python is a non-venomous snake found in Southeast Asia, where it is often bred for sale as an exotic pet or farmed for use in the leather industry.

A total of 45 students -- 17 boys and 28 girls -- participated in the programme which was aiming to build courage and encourage bonding.

Chiam Heng Keng, child psychologist and former human rights commissioner of Malaysia told AFP that those who were involved in the incident must be "psychologically off their mind". 

"I condemn their action. It definitely would have traumatised the children who will probably be experiencing nightmares," she said.

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