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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pet Snakes. It doesn't even sound right. 

In this particular case, the African rock python — the kind of giant snake the RCMP identified as responsible for the deaths of Noah Barthe, 4½, and Connor Barthe, 6 — is not permitted in New Brunswick unless an exemption to an existing provincial ban has been granted.
On Tuesday, the director of communications for N.B.'s Department of Natural Resources said that the only exceptions granted would be for accredited zoos, not for someone to keep an illegal exotic animal as a pet.

While I was away, I missed out on most of the news. So, when I came home the first thing I wanted to do was catch up. The first news story that caught my eye was about something that always bugs me.
I will admit right up front. I hate snakes. If I never see another one as long as I live I will be perfectly fine with that. Even Garden snakes, which I know are harmless, bother me. I just don't like snakes and I never have...or will.
On my recent trip, I saw one slithering out of a copper rock pile at a Diamond Mine tour I took in Northern Michigan. I wasn't scared, or really bothered, but still, I didn't feel comfortable. Something about snakes has always done that to me. I have never been bitten, or hissed at but I just have this thing about snakes.
There. Now you get where I am coming from here.
That being said, I understand that everything on Earth pretty much has a reason and purpose. Snakes are no different. They do have a place. And for me, that place is in the wild, the swamps, the desert, the forest.  Places like that. 
And I understand that snakes are out there and you can come across them if you venture out. They were here first and we have built over their habitat. Just like so many other things. But they don't belong in our houses. If you live in a residential neighborhood, you should have the expectation that your neighbour is not allowed to possess a being who has been created for millions of years by nature to be a violent, efficient killing machine. 
Yes, they can be handled and aren't the horrible predators that many make them out to be. But as far as I'm concerned, snakes are never pets. They are never really domesticated. They have an ancient instinct to hunt and kill and you can never train or breed that out of them. We have bred dogs and cats for centuries to try and breed that out of them, and for the most part we have done that successfully. But snakes are not in that category. They are pure predators and can never be regarded as anything but that.

For his part, Laidlaw doesn't want to see what happened in New Brunswick labelled as an "accident."
"I think the real thing for people to remember is that that snake should never have been there in the first place. There is no excuse for keeping that kind of an animal there especially when the law prohibited it. I think people have to remember that there are some animals that just don't make good pets."

If it was up to me, a snake would never be a pet. They can or could be exhibited at a zoo or a place like that, but otherwise they belong in the wild. They are not pets. Pet snake doesn't even sound right. 
Now, it is a free country. Live and let live. However, the problem with that comes when people keep pet snakes and then let them get away. Then my rights, and the rights of most citizens who don't want that happening are infringed on. 
And we all know how this ends, for those who have not heard the story.
Preliminary autopsy results on two New Brunswick boys who were killed after an African rock python escaped its enclosure in Campbellton, N.B., show they died from asphyxiation, RCMP said Wednesday, as questions lingered about how the large snake came to be in the possession of a pet store.

So really, although I know most snakes that are kept as "pets" are harmless, kept responsibly and never cause an incident, I am on record as saying nobody should be allowed to keep any snakes as pets or even keep them anywhere. It should be 100% against the law. That it isn't is really a crime in itself. It is about being selfish. Most in society do not want them anywhere near them and would make a big fuss if they lived in a house near someone who did or in an apartment building with someone who did. And in this case, that is exactly what happened.
If you want to live with snakes, go live in the wild. If you want to live in the society we do, get a dog or cat, or even a turtle or a bird. Snakes are NOT pets and they never will be.

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