Escaped Pet Store Python Strangles 2 Young Brothers in Their Sleep

python strangles kidsAn escaped pet store python made his way into the apartment above the store in Canada yesterday and, horrifyingly, strangled two young brothers, ages 5 and 7, in their sleep. Apparently, the snake came through the ventilation system and another adult in the home somehow managed to escape unscathed. Tragically, the boys weren't as lucky.

This story is horrifying on so many levels. Police say the pet store in Canada was fully licensed and allowed to carry the python, so that was all legal. Additionally, the owner did live in the apartment, so it's presumed that he knew the boys and is feeling this tragedy acutely.

The snake in question is a 14- to 16-foot African rock python that even its owner said was "vicious" and was rarely handled. Still, he had the snake for 10 years without incident. So why now?

Canadian officials are calling the crime "unusual," though bizarrely, this isn't the only escaped python story in the news today. In Florida, last weekend, a 14-foot python (also an escaped pet) was found in a shed where it was eating a cat skull.

Lucky for Florida, only cats and rabbits were missing from homes around the area, but here's a thought: Maybe a python makes a bad pet? How hard is that to realize?

The reality is, we aren't allowed to have monkeys or tigers or other wild animals, in part because they carry disease, but also because they are unpredictable and dangerous. A wild animal isn't meant to be a "pet." Had this pet store not carried a "vicious" python, these boys would still be safe in their beds and would likely never encounter a snake that is native to Africa.

A snake can't escape a locked cage. A person is responsible for this and I sure hope they figure it out. This tragedy shouldn't go unpunished.

Do you think people should have snakes like this as pets?


Image via Squamata55/Flickr

accidents, crime


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Cooks... Cookster792

NO NO NO , I once had people living next door to me having boa constrictors and I lived in fear. The

township would not help nor the board of health. Told me it was illegal yet  no one would help me.  I

cried all the time begging someone to help me. These people eventually moved away thank God.

nonmember avatar Angel

...Really, Cookster? That is just.. ten kinds of sad. Also, generally speaking, constricting snakes are not a particularly big menace to those living around them. This sounds like a freak accident. Though I definitely disagree with someone keeping any type of pet that is known to be "vicious" anywhere NEAR small children, it is no different to me than a dog or other domesticated animal. They are ALL animals, and we tend to forget that. In fact, go look it up. There are a LOT more cases of Fido going crazy and mauling someone than random pet snakes escaping and killing children. Why single out snakes as exceptionally dangerous? Silly.

KnoxM... KnoxMom76

 Snake was obviously not properly contained as they can not just get out, so its not the snakes fault, its a human error.   But I do think it is ridiculous to try and contain wild animals...they are wild for a reason!  So sad.

nonmember avatar justme

This is such a sad story. I don't agree with people keeping big snakes like this as pets. Most people have no clue what it takes to care for them. They grow so big that really it takes 2 people to hold and control them. They need to eat large prey. I don't think people realize what people have as pets out there. Its really scary the number of people that have big cats as pets. And people have chimps too! Lets not forget what happened in CT. Travis the chimp!

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

How horrible :( someone is obviously responsible for the escape. a python that large doesnt just slip out. and a very strange case if it was in fact the python, very far from normal behavior. I hope you do another story after the autopsy results are released since they haven't confirmed the cause yet.

TheCu... TheCuriousOne

Someone in my father's neighborhood had a RATTLESNAKE in the house, on some cage.

It escaped its cage, killed a dog and went into my father's yard, where it laid with my mom's plants.

They had to kill it (not easy) and the owner still got pissed. Well, how about not keeping a POISONOUS snake as a pet? FFS.

nonmember avatar M

Please, Please, PLEASE change the cover photo of your story. The photo is of Python regius, when the snake in question was a Python sebae. Now, I understand that this was a horrible tragedy, the autopsy has not been done yet. It is completely out of character for an African Rock Python to leave its prey. Canada is also cold, and it wouldn't have had heat reserves enough to move around excessively after leaving it's cage. Other articles stated that the snake fell through the ceiling after climbing into the ventilation.

Also, "TheCuriousOne" try Venomous as the proper terminology. If they were having trouble killing a "poisonous" snake, you called the wrong people. Completely destroying the brain and skull isn't really rocket science. It's when you get into the "cut its head off" backwoods idiots that you have an issue.

Waiting for an autopsy to come in is the sanest course of action at this point, as no one can say for sure that the snake killed the boys. Things are not always as they appear to be.

nonmember avatar Whatever

It's summer here in Canada, so it's not cold. Smh.

2cent... 2centsCDN

"Canada is cold" LOL Really "M" you should learn some basic geography. This happened in New Brusnwick which shares a border with Maine (US), its hardly cold this time of year. Its not like this happened in Nunavit (google it.) Do you American's not learn anything about Canada?

Regardless, this is a very sad story.

Paula Newsome Boswell

No dangerous snakes should be PETS!!!!! this is horrible and it should've never happened...

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