A snake which escaped from a pet shop in the Canadian province of New Brunswick appears to have killed two boys aged five and seven.
The children had been staying at a friend’s apartment above the shop in the city of Campbellton.
The reptile is thought to have slipped out of its cage overnight and climbed up through a ventilation shaft.
Constable Jullie Rogers-Marsh of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said: “It’s believed the two boys were strangled by the snake.” She added that she was unaware if the boys were asleep when the attack occurred.
The snake was later captured by the pet shop owner and is in the custody of police. They would not identify its species.
Experts say attacks by exotic snakes are extremely rare.
“It’s really not in their nature,” said Terry Phillip, curator of reptiles at Reptile Gardens, a wild animal park in South Dakota.
“Snakes, even large pythons, are far less dangerous than family pets like dogs,” he said.
The shop, which is called Reptile Ocean, did not respond to a request for comment. On its official Facebook page the retailer calls itself “an exotic pet store open to the public for purchase and viewing”.
Autopsies on the boys were due to be carried out on Tuesday.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1As it happened: Malaysia’s flight mystery remains as searches extended to Malacca Strait
- 2Ships and aircraft from ten countries continue search for missing Malaysia flight
- 3Malaysia plane: oil rig worker reports a “burning plane” as search continues
- 4Flight MH370: possible mid-air disintegration, unconfirmed object ‘spotted’ in sea
- 5Missing Malaysia Airlines plane ‘crashes off Vietnam’
- 1Flight MH370: possible mid-air disintegration, unconfirmed object ‘spotted’ in sea
- 2As it happened: Malaysia’s flight mystery remains as searches extended to Malacca Strait
- 3Hijacking not ruled out as search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet enters third day
- 4Ships and aircraft from ten countries continue search for missing Malaysia flight
- 5Prayers for a miracle as the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines jet baffles the experts
- 1Missing Malaysia Airlines plane ‘crashes off Vietnam’
- 2Flight MH370: possible mid-air disintegration, unconfirmed object ‘spotted’ in sea
- 3Claims Michael Schumacher is breathing independently played down by his management
- 4Malaysia Airlines plane missing, presumed crashed
- 5Hijacking not ruled out as search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet enters third day
Wires > News
- 20:01 CET EU ready to help Bosnia speed up reforms after protests – Ashton
- 19:47 CET Thousands clash with police as Turkish teenager buried
- 19:46 CET UAE summons Iraq ambassador over Saudi “terrorism” charge
- 18:46 CET NYC buildings explosion kills two, more missing
- 18:42 CET Rocket barrage from Gaza hits Israel, no one hurt – police
- 18:31 CET Manila air-drops supplies to troops on disputed reef
- 18:30 CET Irish court blocks planned airport strike
- 18:28 CET Collapse of coup trial unnerves Turks as Erdogan switches tack