Boa Constrictor Kills Two Boys, 5 And 7: How Did Deadly Snake Escape Reptile Store Enclosure? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on August 5, 2013 9:23 PM EDT

African rock python
An African rock python killed two boys Monday. According to the shop owner, the snake's enclosure features two locks. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Early stories incorrectly reported that a boa constrictor killed two Canadian children in a Campbellton, New Brunswick, apartment. It was later revealed that an African rock python, measuring up to 16 feet long, was responsible for the deaths.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the boys, ages 5 and 7, were sleeping over in an apartment just above a reptile store owned by a family friend. The strangled boys were discovered Monday morning. Police were notified about 6:30 a.m.

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Store owner Jean-Claude Savoie thought the boys were sleeping in the living room, when he noticed a hole in the ceiling.

"My body is in shock. I don't know what to think," he said. "I thought they were sleeping until I (saw) the hole in the ceiling. I turned the lights on and I (saw) this horrific scene."


Neighbors were shocked to learn about the deaths. Diane Fournier has lived on the same street as the pet store for 12 years. "I knew the kids. They were brothers. They played in my yard with my dogs all of the time," she said. The reptile store, Reptile Ocean Inc., extended its condolences on its Facebook page: "Deepest symphathies goes out to the family of the children. a terrible accident without a meaning. this page will be shut down temporarily to avoid any further demeaning comments. you should be ashamed of yourselves," the post read. "we all have a heavy heart today. as anyone would. and attacks on the animals owner are unnecessary."

Investigators believe that the African rock python managed to escape its enclosure, slither into the building's ventilation system, enter the apartment unnoticed, and then strangle the boys. However, just how the python managed to escape the enclosure is unknown. According to the shop owner, each cage is shut with two locks. The snake has been captured and is in the possession of the police.

"The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a python snake escaped its enclosure in the store sometime overnight," said Constable Julie Rogers-Marsh.

Autopsies will be performed Tuesday.

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