Reticulated pythons are illegal in B.C. In Mission

Close to 100 snakes found in Mission home

The discovery in the residence on Van Velzen Avenue included almost 50 pythons, which have been euthanized.

  • Aug. 17, 2013 4:00 p.m.

by Vikki Hopes, Black Press

A local reptile expert is angry that almost 50 snakes were euthanized after their owner was evicted from a Mission rental home on Thursday.

Mike Hopcraft, who runs the Reptile Guy Rescue and Education Centre in Abbotsford, said conservation officers should have made more of an effort to find a facility in North America that could take the reticulated pythons.

His site is not currently licensed to accept the prohibited species – a situation he hopes to change in the future – but he said there was no reason to euthanize them.

“To me, this was an execution … You’re taking healthy animals that haven’t hurt anybody, and you’re killing them,” Hopcraft said.

Chris Doyle, an inspector with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said the agency was called to the small one-storey home on Van Velzen Avenue in Mission after the renter was evicted and dozens of snakes were found in the residence.

Conservation officers discovered 46 reticulated pythons, which are prohibited under the Controlled Alien Species Regulation of the Wildlife Act, as well as about 50 other snakes, including boas and gopher and king snakes.

Doyle said all the snakes were in enclosures and none appeared tov be unhealthy or mistreated.

He said the pythons – the longest of which was 14 feet – were euthanized by a veterinarian because there was nowhere for them to go and they posed “a public safety risk.”

Hopcraft said he is frustrated by that comment, adding that because of one recent prominent case in which a python killed two kids in New Brunswick, people think “snakes are killers.”

“Horses kill more people,” he said.

The remaining snakes, which were not prohibited, have been moved to a facility, Doyle said.

He said the Conservation Officer Service is continuing its investigation, including how the man obtained the pythons. The owner could face potential charges, such as possession, breeding and transportation of a prohibited species.

Meanwhile, Hopcraft is working toward obtaining a rescue permit for his facility. He is critical of the government for introducing the Controlled Alien Species Regulation four years ago to prohibit ownership of certain animals with no plan of where to put them when they are confiscated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Abbotsford philanthropist donates $1 million for new CT scanner

Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation says donation frees it up to fundraise for second machine

Combined 584g of cocaine, fentanyl and meth found in Abbotsford home

Charges pending against a man and a woman after police execute search warrant on Larch St. home

PHOTO: Day one of the Mission Folk Music Festival

The festival continues all weekend long at Fraser River Heritage Park

UPDATE: Abbotsford police seek info from public after man, 32, found dead

IHIT identifies victim as Sukhpreet Grewal, who they say was known to police

Helping hand for ‘ordinary folks’

Mission’s St. Joseph’s Food Bank caters to regular people facing unforeseen situations

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Most Read