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Emotions are still running high in the small Canadian town of Campbellton, following the deaths of two boys by a snake.

A criminal investigation has now opened as it’s emerged the fourteen-foot African rock python may have been kept as an unlicensed pet in the apartment where the children were sleeping.

The snake reportedly escaped and crashed through a ventilation shaft on top of them.

Reptile experts say humans are not usually a source of food but because the children had been playing with farm animals just hours before the attack, the snake may have considered them prey.

Police have confirmed that the brothers, aged four and six, had been visiting the apartment of a friend whose father owned an exotic pet store below. It’s thought this is where the python was originally bought.

Autopsies were performed on the boys on Tuesday. The snake was euthanised and is being examined for clues as to possible reasons for the attack.

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