We’re lucky we’re not afraid of snakes. Not just because it’s one less phobia to worry about (clowns, needles, and nuclear holocaust are quite enough to live with, thanks!), but because the last couple months have seen an unprecedented number of news stories about snakes slipping out of the grass to sun themselves on the rocks of publicity. Here are 5 snake stories that have grabbed Canada in the last li’l while…
Scarborough Bull Snake
The excitement of the coming school year was just too much for a metre-long bull-constrictor (a non-poisonous, harmless, but enormous snake found in some parts of Canada), who turned up on Labour Day night, possibly after having indulged in too much revelry over the long weekend. The TPS suggested it was an abandoned pet (there are few people we like less than those who abandon pets), but let’s not forget that a naturally occurring bull-constrictor as big as a firehose was spotted hanging out in a Regina park this summer, scaring the hell out of everyone.
Killer New Brunswick Python
Hands down the creepiest story of the summer is of the 4.5-metre African rock python that somehow crawled out of an enclosure in a pet store, climbed to the second storey of the building it was in, and strangled two children. There’s nothing funny we can say about that. The snake was euthanized; police are still investigating.
Fourth Python in a Month Seized in Nova Scotia
Some poor woman walking her dog in the Halifax suburbs recently had the displeasure of finding a ball python (yet another abandoned pet – what is it with people who can’t commit to taking responsibility for animals they bring home?) on her lawn. The 1-metre, 2-kilogram python was actually the fourth seized by police in one month in the province – the largest being a 68-kilogram reticulated python, which was thankfully not loose but seized in August from a home where it was kept as a pet.
46 Pythons in a BC Rental Home
The tenant of a tiny house in Mission, BC – whom we assume didn’t have a no-pets clause in his lease – had over 100 snakes and Monitor lizards seized during an eviction in mid-August. Of that 100, 46 were identified by conservation officers as being “alien species” that posed a threat to public safety and were euthanized.
40 Pythons in a Brantford Motel
This is a story that really prompts more questions than it answers. An employee of Brantford’s Bell City Motel entered a room that had been rented for one night by a couple with a baby and discovered plastic tubs full of pythons of many different sizes, the longest being over a metre. The SPCA reported that the snakes were in distress due to being held in cramped conditions without water. Why? How hard is it to give snakes some water? Why were there so many of them? Why were they in a motel? Why for only one night? Where were they going? Where had they come from? How did the baby feel about the snakes? How did the motel employee react to the discovery? What did he or she dream about that night? No answers were forthcoming.