Snake escapes pet shop, strangles two boys to death
TWO brothers are dead after an escaped snake from a nearby pet store got into the apartment where they were having a sleepover.
The pet store owner Jean-Claude Savoie said the snake - a python believed to be more than 4m long - slithered into the apartment in Campbellton, New Brunswick, through the ventilation ducts and crawled into the ceiling.
It somehow punched a hole in the ceiling and dropped onto the small boys from above. It then coiled around them and crushed them as they slept together on the floor.
The brothers, aged five and seven, often slept in the apartment, which is above Mr Savoie's store, Reptile Ocean.
Mr Savoie said the two children are the kids of his best friend and they often sleep over in his apartment.
The Reptile Ocean store where the snake escaped. The dead boys were sleeping in the apartment above the shop. Picture: Google Earth
“I feel like they’re my kids,” he told The Global News.
He said he went into the living room, where the kids were sleeping, and discovered a gruesome sight.
“I thought they were sleeping until I saw the hole in the ceiling. I turned the lights on and I saw this horrific scene,”
Neighbour Diane Fournier told the Global News: “It’s very nerve-wracking. If one got out, how many else got out?"
A python escaped a pet shop and strangled two boys to death in their sleep. Picture: Marc Mccormack
Fournier said she often saw the two children in the neighbourhood.
“They play around my yard, around my area. I see them every day,” she said.
"Police are investigating two sudden deaths of two young boys," Constable Julie Rogers-Marsh said on Monday.
"The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a python snake escaped its enclosure in the store
"It is believed the two boys were strangled by the snake," Constable Rogers-Marsh said.
"This is a tragedy," said Deputy Mayor Ian Comeau. "The city is in shock."
Constable Rogers-Marsh says autopsies will be performed on the two victims today.
The Globe and Mail said that a 1996 report on zoos in the Maritimes for Zoocheck Canada Inc. and World Society
for the Protection of Animals written by Dr. John Gripper, a veterinarian, gave a good review of Reptile Ocean.
However the paper also uncovered an online petition calling for Reptile Ocean to be shut down. The person who
started the petition complained about the humidity in the store and the condition of some animals.