Lincoln County Humane Society inspector Todd Menard holds a metre-long alligator that was struck by a vehicle at Highway 20 and Merrittvle in Fonthill, Ontario. (BOB TYMCZYSZYN/ST. CATHARINES STANDARD/QMI AGENCY)
THOROLD, Ont. - Why did the alligator cross the road?
The mystery remains, after a vehicle struck and killed a three-foot-long alligator in Thorold, Ont., early Saturday morning.
Niagara Regional Police say the three-foot reptile was hit at about 2:15 a.m. at Merrittville Hwy. near Hwy. 20.
"This is something I've never seen in my career," said aid NRP spokesperson Derek Watson later on Saturday.
The Lincoln County Humane Society took possession of the reptile, and the vehicle involved was reportedly not badly damaged.
Todd Menard, an Inspector with the LCHS, said they know who the owner is, but are not disclosing it at this time. "A person has called in to report his alligator missing," he said.
Menard said as the City of Thorold does not have an exotic animal bylaw ban, the humane society cannot lay charges in this area.
"Right now, in the City of Thorold, you can actually own an alligator," he said.
Menard said the carcass would be held at the shelter for the time being.
He added the provincial natural resources ministry and Canadian wildlife authorities will be contacted.
"We want to know how it entered the country, they are no native to Ontario," he said.
BRANTFORD, Ont. - A couple have been charged with three counts of animal cruelty in connection with the 40 snakes that were found at a local motel.
Police found the ball pythons at the Bell City Motel on Aug. 15. They ranged from one foot to four-and-a-half feet in length and were inside several plastic storage bins, without water.
The SPCA took them into its care. Further examination revealed they were dehydrated.
Investigators later found the owners, who surrendered the reptiles, as well as five eggs, to the SPCA.
The couple, whose names have not been released, have been charged with causing distress to an animal, failing to provide care necessary for an animal's general welfare and failing to provide adequate and appropriate water.
“If providing for animals in your care becomes difficulty, it's important to take the appropriate steps to ensure the animal's health isn't compromised,” Darren Grandel, a senior investigator, said in a statement released Friday morning. “Contact your local SPCA or veterinarian to see what options are available.”
It's illegal to own a python in this city southwest of Toronto.
Many illegal exotic pets, including dozens of pythons, have been seized nationwide since the tragic deaths of brothers Noah and Connor Barthe, ages 4 and 6, who were strangled by an African rock python that had escaped from its enclosure in the middle of the night on Aug. 5.
Also Aug. 15, conservation authorities found nearly 50 illegal pythons in a B.C. home. All the reptiles were euthanized. Authorities seized more than 45 reptiles, including a five-foot American alligator, from a home in Cobden, Ont., on Monday.
Conservation authorities found nearly 50 illegal pythons in a B.C. home Thursday.
Insp. Chris Doyle, of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, told QMI Agency Saturday that the 46 reticulated pythons were euthanized the same day.
"The largest was 14 feet, and there were about half a dozen other large ones," Doyle said.
Animal Control Services in Mission, B.C., contacted his agency in the course of investigating an eviction.
Reticulated pythons are prohibited in the province, Doyle said.
Native to southeast Asia, they are the world's longest snakes, according to Zoo.org, capable of growing to 8.5 metres (28 feet) and weighing up to 300 lbs.
The same day the snakes were discovered in B.C, police in Brantford, Ont., found 40 ball pythons in distress inside plastic storage bins in a motel room and handed them over to the SPCA.
Earlier this month, two young boys in New Brunswick died after a 13-foot African rock python escaped its enclosure and attacked them in their sleep.
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Police found 40 pythons in plastic storage bins in a motel room Thursday.
The snakes, which are ball pythons, weren't properly cared for and were in distress, police said.
The anxious officers called the SPCA to the Bell City Motel at 901 Colborne St., and the agency took the animals into its care.
“We popped the lids of the containers and saw a mass of snake,” animal cruelty investigator Brandon James said. “They were all entangled. They were in distress because of the overcrowding.”
Ball pythons are a non-venomous species native to Africa that range in size from about one foot to 4 1/2 feet. The species is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, due largely to its typically docile temperament.
It's illegal to own a python in this city southwest of Toronto. Nonetheless, there is a big market for mature ball snakes, and it is likely someone was gathering them for sale, James said.
Safety concerns about snakes made headlines earlier this month after an African rock python killed two young boys in their sleep in Campbellton, N.B.
James -- holding one of the larger rescued pythons for a group of reporters on Friday -- said the tragedy has created a lot of nervousness about snakes but that it was probably an isolated incident.
“There is fear it may happen again. There is no reason to believe that it would happen with these smaller snakes, but I don't know them well.
“These snakes are well handled, but I'm sure situations could arise when they can be dangerous.”
James said the rescued pythons were seen by a veterinarian and all are in fairly good health. They were separated into individual bins and given water. They were being transferred Friday evening to a “network that deals with reptiles.”
“They are a banned animal in Brantford and we can't adopt them out. We don't have the facilities to house them long term,” he said.
Police say the investigation is still underway and no charges have been laid at this time.
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- The 27 illegal animals seized from the now notorious Reptile Ocean pet store in Campbellton, N.B., have been moved to Ontario, but what will happen to them next is unclear.
At the behest of the RCMP and the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, Bry Loyst, curator of the Indian River Reptile Zoo, drove a U-Haul truck out east last week and removed the animals -- snakes, turtles and a seven-foot Cuban crocodile -- and brought them back to Peterborough.
None of the snakes seized were dangerous, said Loyst, one of the country's leading reptile experts, when reached at the scene last week.
The African rock python that escaped and killed Noah Barthe, 4, and his brother, Connor, 6, was put down a day after the boys were found dead in the apartment above Reptile Ocean.
A preliminary autopsy found the boys died of asphyxiation.
The remaining animals are currently in quarantine at a facility east of Peterborough and will likely remain there for three to six months.
Loyst isn't sure where they go from there.
The non-profit zoo is already taxed providing care for the animals it already has.
Loyst will attempt to place the rescued animals in other accredited zoos across Canada, but it’s often a tough sale, he said.
“Unfortunately, no one cares. That’s what it feels like,” he said. “It looks like we’ll be keeping the majority of them, unfortunately. We obviously have limited funds and it’s very hard to raise money to help reptiles.”
Some of the animals may have to be euthanized if the zoo can’t find them new homes or raise money for their housing and upkeep, Loyst said.