“Pets” vs. Animals…Python Kills 2-Year Old Girl

This discussion comes from Al Tompkin’s  inspiration …and a little bit from my live shot yesterday.

If you were watching at 5:20 and 6:10 you saw me, with a corn snake wrapped around my neck. That snake was one of over 100 that snake guru Keith Farmer owns. Last night he was showing off about 25 out of his collection at the Halyburton Events Center as part of their nature series. His effort is to educate people about snakes…in a safe environment.

But even a snake guru…takes a bite once in a while. In fact, the first snake he put on me hissed angrily…apparently NOT a fan of Casey Roman. If even an expert can get it wrong…managing exotic animals that is…then how does the general public figure they will do any better at domesticating these animals in their homes? (As if…they were meant to be domesticated…at all…)

Yesterday, a two year old girl was killed when a pet python slithered out of its cage…into her bed…strangling her with its body and biting her head.

This was not a little serpent…this was a **12-FOOT-LONG** Burmese python.  It was owned by the little girl’s mother’s boyfriend….who ALSO owned (and kept in the house) a **6 –FOOT-LONG** boa constrictor. Aw…nothing like a cute pet for the kids….

Check out the video of these snakes…they are *enormous.* I’d imagine you’d only find a 12 foot long snake in the jungle…NOT in a small Florida home with kids running around.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a python strike…but they coil back…lunge at their prey…breaking its neck…suffocating it. Imaging that happening to a 2 year old is very disturbing…but that’s what pythons DO. They are wild animals and if you own a wild animal…expect it to act like one. Just because you pet it and named it “Slinky” doesn’t mean that when it gets hungry it wont act on its instincts.

Injury from nontraditional pets happens more than it should. In fact, last year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued warnings about exotic pets and children. Kids love pets…pet nontraditional pets can spread disease and infection like salmonella, campylobacter and cryptosporidium. They can injure children and they can cause allergies.

The AAP also reported that the number of exotic animals available in the United States has increased by 75 percent since 1992.

The American Veterinary Medical Association found in 2007 that 386,000 households own 586,000 snakes.

The AAP says that out of 1415 human pathogens…61% are zoonotic. From 1980 to 2003…more than 32 new infectious diseases have emerged in humans…many of which are zoonoses.

Not convinced that exotic pets can harm humans???….here’s a list from the Human Society of other python attacks….

  • Indiana, 2006: A 23-year-old man was killed by his 14-foot pet reticulated python.
  • Colorado, 2002: A man died after his pet Burmese python, who was wrapped loosely around his neck, suddenly constricted.
  • Pennsylvania, 2001: An 8-year-old girl was home alone when she was apparently strangled by her father’s pet Burmese python.
  • Illinois, 1999: A couple’s 7.5-foot African rock python escaped from an enclosure and killed their 3-year-old son.
  • Colorado, 1993: A 15-year-old was killed by his brother’s 11-foot pet python.
  • Missouri, 1983: A man was crushed to death by his 16-foot pet Burmese python.
  • Nevada, 1982: An 8-foot python escaped from his cage and killed a 21-month-old boy in his crib. The snake belonged to an unrelated man who lived in the house.
  • Texas, 1980: A 7-month-old girl was killed by her father’s 8-foot pet reticulated python. The snake had forced his way out of a covered aquarium.

1 Comment

  1. […] Read the original here:  “Pets” vs. Animals…Python Kills 2-Year Old Girl « WECT Investigates […]

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