Two children died after a python got into an apartment in Campbellton, N.B., RCMP say.
“Police are investigating two sudden deaths of two young boys,” Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh said Monday.
It’s believed the snake escaped from a pet store called Reptile Ocean. The victims were boys aged five and seven. They were in the apartment above the store.
“The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a python snake escaped its enclosure in the store sometime overnight,” the constable said.
Rogers-Marsh said it went through the ventilation. “It’s believed the two boys were strangled by the snake,” she said.
Police have the snake. Initial reports suggested the snake was a boa constrictor.
City in shock
“This is a tragedy,” said Deputy Mayor Ian Comeau. “The city is in shock.”
It’s not yet clear how the snake escaped.
In 2009, the province of New Brunswick allowed a wider variety of snakes, lizards and other exotic pets into the province. Under the change, pet stores were then able to sell non-poisonous snakes up to three metres in length.
Kevin Craig, a wildlife biologist with the province’s Natural Resources department, said in a 2009 interview that pet stores pushed for the change because the province’s regulations were more restrictive than other jurisdictions.