Escaped Pet Burmese Python Kills Fla. Two-year-old Child

July 1, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A pet Burmese python escaped from it’s cage and strangled a 2-year-old girl in her bedroom Wednesday at a central Florida home, authorities said.  Shaiunna Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.  Caruthers said the owner of the 8-foot snake, Charles Jason Darnell, 32, who lives at the home with the child and her mother, was overcome by grief when they arrived at the home.

A tragic detail in the incident is that Darnell had found the snake out of its glass case after midnight Wednesday, he revealed to police. However he returned it to the enclosure in the living room and apparently didn’t block the snakes escape route. Because when he awoke this morning, he discovered that the snake was again out of its case. He then went to the girl’s room, where he found it wrapped around the child, Caruthers said. Darnell, stabbed the snake until it released the child, who had bite marks on her head.
Authorities removed the snake from the home Wednesday afternoon after obtaining a search warrant.

Burmese pythons can reach a length of 26 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds.  They are a major problem now in southern florida because some owners have freed pythons into the wild and a breeding population has established itself in the Everglades, becoming the top predator in the food chain superceding gators.



3 Responses to “Escaped Pet Burmese Python Kills Fla. Two-year-old Child”

  1. Escaped Pet Burmese Python Kills Fla. Two-year-old Child on July 2nd, 2009 11:32 am

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  2. long island gal on July 2nd, 2009 1:29 pm

    This is very serious. This clearly shows negligence from the parents as well. They knew that they had a kid in the house; therefore, they shouldn’t have a python. I think it may be fine to have this kind of pet, but you have to be 101% sure that it’s on a separate room and fully caged. But I still suggest not having this as a pet.

  3. Donna on July 3rd, 2009 12:52 pm

    The parents were negligent, of course–they didn’t have a permit for the animal, and didn’t house it correctly.
    Dogs pose a greater threat to kids, however, and the number of dog attacks on sleeping children is MUCH higher than that of snake attacks. This is a very unusual freak accident, nothing more–a burm that size honestly has no reason to attack a child.

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