Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Further Note on Snakes

Albino Gopher Snake, After Mite Treatments
Recently, two young boys died. They lived above a pet shop here in New Brunswick. They were killed by an African Rock Python that slipped the moorings of its cage. The large snake - easily weighing as much a grown man, never mind a young boy - mistook them for prey items and killed them.

Such occurrences are rare. For one thing, snakes that large are illegal in New Brunswick, and for good reason - it would take a team of handlers (I'd be most comfortable with a second, and I imagine my second would enjoy a second, so I'd say three people) to transport the animal safely. As a general rule, anything as wide as a snake is food, and anything the same weight is at risk of being killed if the snake feels threatened. Having extra people would prevent that.

Snakes that size are properly illegal - their housing, handling, and feeding is a logistical nightmare that only a zoo of reasonable size and handlers of reasonable experience should attempt it. I certainly wouldn't want to be the most experienced handler on the team and I definitely wouldn't want to be a business with such a thing putting my employees and customers at risk.

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