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New Brunswick Snake Put Down After Boys’ Deaths

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An African python that escaped it’s enclosure and killed two young boys has been put down, authorities in Canada say.

4-year old Noah Barthe and his brother, 7-year old Connor, were reportedly on a sleepover at a friend’s apartment over the weekend when they were killed by the giant snake.

Jean-Claude Savoie owns a small pet store–Reptile Ocean–over which he resides in the apartment. He said that the snake must have escaped its enclosure and gotten up into the ceiling ducts somehow, eventually falling down into the living room where the boys were sleeping.

“They were sleeping and they never opened their eyes or nothing. At first, I didn’t even realize. I thought they were sleeping until I seen the hole in the ceiling, everything had fallen and I turned the lights on and I seen this horrific scene,” he said.

The snake, which is believed to be illegal in the area, has been the subject of some mystery. Authorities aren’t sure why it was able to suffocate the boys without biting first, as they usually do.

“It could be that kind of an accident where the snake got in where the kids were and they were just something to hold onto. And then when the kids tried to get away, [it] squeezed tighter,” Professor Neil Ford said. “Even a single adult would have a tough time uncoiling a large snake if it wanted to hold on.”

A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, Steven Benteau, says that the species of snake that killed the boys is illegal under the Exotic Wildlife Regulation.

“It is illegal for anyone to keep any exotic species that is not listed in the regulation unless they have a permit from the Department of Natural Resources,” says a statement from the department. “If such an animal is found, it will be confiscated and the person who possesses the animal can be charged under the Fish and Wildlife Act.”

The case is now being investigated as a criminal matter.

New Brunswick Snake Put Down After Boys’ Deaths
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  • cindyd

    Charged with murder I hope!

    • jimmypop

      Ridiculous that this kind of thing is still happening. Off to jail with the snake owner!

  • lazy’s lady

    there is a sentence in the story that was not clarified. — “It is illegal for anyone to keep any exotic species that is not listed in the regulation unless they have a permit from the Department of Natural Resources” — Does the pet store owner have a permit for this snake? The article states it is illegal to own several times, but the permit part needs to be verified before anyone can speak of murder.

  • dyana

    Someone as illiterate and idiotic as Jean-Claude Savoie sounds should not be allowed to own a store with “exotic” pets of any kind, whether or not they are legal. Additionally, he should not even be allowed t own pets larger then a gnat. Hope he is charged with murder, but the legal system in Canada doesn’t seem to hold people very responsible for deaths of other people, from what I’ve read and observed. It seems even worse there than some of the PC outcomes in the U.S.

    • dyana

      Typo Alert: Should be “…THAN a gnat.”

  • Ray

    if that were my kids I’d havfe a hard time not killing the snake owner.

  • http://yahoo.com linjaynes

    A tragedy no doubt, that being said & understood by all, a sleep over for kids, in an apartment above a reptile store? Really? I dont think so.
    My daughters best friend lived above a bar , years ago & she was 13 @ the time, I absolutely refused & had her friend come to our home instead, not the little girls fault where she had to live, but it also wasn’t somewhere I intended to have my child exposed to @ night & away from my care.
    One predator, or another, where was the common sense, in this from the parents?

  • Mariah

    There should be no apostrophe in “its” in the first sentence. The possessive form of “its” is a well known exception to the rule on possessive forms. “Its” does not take an apostrophe so it will not be confused with “it’s,” meaning “it is.”