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.
- 1‘Tourists go home’ say Spanish locals in backlash to holiday boom
- 2EgyptAir crash: doomed plane’s distress signal ‘picked up by satellites’
- 3Fears grow for missing Japanese boy left in woods as punishment
- 4Belgium facing more strike chaos
- 5More transport chaos in France in standoff over labour reforms
Latest world news
Delays and cancellations as French unions begin indefinite transport strike
Ex-Miss Turkey gets suspended sentence for insulting president
WHO advises two months of safe sex for Zika prevention
Police to investigate Cincinnati Zoo gorilla shooting
The world’s longest train tunnel inaugurated
Wires > News
- 07:11 CET North Korea’s missile and nuclear projects unacceptable, Japan…
- 07:08 CET Falluja children face extreme violence, UNICEF says
- 07:08 CET Japan PM to postpone sales tax rise, snap election off table for…
- 07:02 CET Trepidation lingers as Canada wildfire evacuees begin to return
- 06:25 CET Exclusive: U.S.-backed Syria forces launch offensive for Manbij…
- 06:20 CET China says first stealth fighter not yet in service, but coming…
- 05:40 CET In-law of Mexico striker Pulido nabbed for alleged role in his…
- 05:27 CET As Beijing flexes muscles in South China Sea, Malaysia eyes harder…