By Steve Mertl
The deaths of two New Brunswick boys killed by a massive python last summer have prompted Atlantic Canada mayors to call for a task force on the private ownership of exotic animals.
The region's top civic leaders passed a resolution at their Atlantic Mayors Congress in Sydney, N.S., last week, CBC News reports.
"It was an opportune time to do this, knowing full well what has taken place in Campbellton and hopefully we are going to be able to put safeguards in place with our governments so that's never going to happen again," Campbellton Mayor Bruce MacIntosh told CBC News.
But is a task force really necessary? What would it add to what's already known about the issues around people keeping everything from giant snakes to tigers and monkeys as pets?
The deaths last August of six-year-old Connor Barthe and his four-year-old brother Noah shocked the entire country.
The boys were attending a sleepover at a friend's home, an apartment above a pet store. The 4.3-metre African rock python weighing 45 kilograms escaped its enclosure in the apartment and crawled into the ceiling ventilation system, then fell through into the room where the children were sleeping.
An autopsy showed the boys died of asphyxiation, though it was not made clear whether the snake strangled them or they were crushed under its weight. The python was euthanized.
The RCMP opened an investigation into the deaths but CBC News said no charges have been laid. More....