Snake escapes, kills children in apartment above pet shop


#1

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#2

Wow, a snake can kill 5 and 7 year old boys? These are relatively big humans! Presumably they were asleep and the snake coiled.. but how did it get both of them?

Terrible tragedy, I do not mean to make light of it at all, but I am curious about the physics involved.


#3

Strangulation only involves cutting off blood. Choking is cutting off air.
A 6 or 8 foot constrictor could easily strangle a sleeping child. And it could happen so fast the kid wouldn't wake up.
Martial arts choke holds and strangle holds can cause unconsciousness in seconds. I suspect a snake evolved specifically to strangle is even better at it than a human fighter.


#4

I assume you meant to add "except Jim Kelly, of course". Omission forgiven.


#5

There is no mention of the snake trying to eat one or both of the children. Surely that is the point of killing them, or was the snake trying to create a cache to eat later? I don't know of that is a known behaviour. My understanding is that decomposition during digestion is a big problem for snakes, so they have to eat their prey immediately.


#6

I've read at least one report where an anaconda killed and attempted to eat a grown human. The specific report I'm thinking of said the snake was found dead with its body ruptured. It bit off more than it could swallow and died trying to fit a meal down its throat.

Perhaps pythons and boas can make similar mistakes of proportion. Just speculation.


#7

Yeah, the lack of predation is odd. I'm expecting an unpleasant update to this story not too long from now.


#8

i seem to recall a stage magician being strangled on stage by a 10 ft python that wrapped around his neck.


#9

Presumably. The story is just so much more surreal if they were awake, and the one boy watched calmly as his friend was squeezed to death, wondering idly what would happen next.


#10

Snakes are like ninjas, but cold-blooded and mostly linear. Do not underestimate their power.


#11

That has become something close to a genre in Florida (yes, I know, state that produces all the weird news). The introduced Burmese Pythons are flourishing; but not always quite large enough to take down the local alligators, leading to occasional gruesome chestburster moments where a python manages to swallow a 'gator; but not to contain it. It usually ends up being a lose/lose scenario.


#12

One obvious point is that s reptile of this sort shouldn't be a pet, and shouldn't be privately owned without stringent licensing requirements. I'm rather dubious of the pet store having such a beast for sale, and of the laws that presumably permitted such.


#13

I agree, but if you look at the statistics they might actually be safer than dogs.


#14

"The lulz" are widely underestimated as a driver of reptilian behavior.


#15

Not to mention a SyFI channel movie.


#16

The "both" is the thing that confuses me here.

I can see a sufficiently large, sufficiently hungry snake deciding that a child was prey-sized. I'm having a bit more trouble seeing it deciding to kill both -- one's a meal, and snakes don't plan ahead.

Defending itself, maybe. Even so...

If it wasn't killing to eat, and wasn't defending itself, its normal inclination would be to want to be left alone.


#17

They don't typically do much to defend themselves, TBH. They pretty much only strangle when they are hungry. The only thing I can think of is perhaps it was startled at some point before it could try to eat them?


#18

I've owned snakes before. I think what happened here is that the snake misjudged the child's size, tried to eat it, failed, and gave up. It was still hungry so it tried the poor second kid, but similarly failed.

Every snake I've had will only kill when it's hungry. I honestly think this sad situation could have been avoided if the pet shop fed their snake more regularly.


#19

What the bloody hell are you talking about? What statistics? sailboat


#20

The number of pet snakes who kill people vs the number of pet dogs.