Media Facts

From time to time, reptiles appear in public news and media. Unfortunately, reptiles are usually portrayed in a harmful light that discredits and causes public fear towards animals in general. At Reptilia, we like to dispel errors in news media coverage regarding reptiles and strive to educate our Guests truthfully in regards to reptiles.

Below you’ll find some news articles that involved reptiles and our corrective facts on the articles. If you’re writing an article and would like us to help with factual information, please reach out to us!

Reptile Facts in Media

You can read the original articles here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/01/python-indiana-death-laura-hurst/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50261417

 

Facts to Help Make Sense of this Tragic Incident 

  • Reticulated pythons are the world’s longest species of snake, having been documented up to 28ft in length, however specimens over 15ft are relatively rare Reticulated pythons are a nonvenomous, constricting snake Reticulated pythons are one of two species of snakes that have been documented to have consumed humans, however it is rare and does not happen often Pythons can eat large meals up to 5 times the size of their own heads, however this does mean it takes a very large snake to consume a relatively small human Snakes of any size do not typically see humans as prey due to our large size and foreign smell Feeding mistakes happen most often in captivity when a snake grows accustomed to being fed by people. They have a good sense of smell but poor eyesight, so care and experience is important to prevent bites, which are typically inconsequential Snakes will often tighten their muscles if they feel threatened or nervous. Attempts to remove the snake incorrectly can encourage the snake to hold on tighter.

You can read the original articles here:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/11/03/new-brunswick-brothers-killed-by-python-were-blue-court-told.html

https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/world/americas/canada-snake-deaths/index.html

 

Facts to Help Make Sense of this Tragic Incident 

  • Although African Rock Pythons are one of only two snake species that have been documented consuming humans, it is incredible rare, and when it does occur, is typically a very large snake on smaller humans.
  • Although humans typically don’t smell like snake food, the day of the incident, the boys had visited a petting farm and interacted with farm animals.
  • The snake’s enclosure was not properly secured, and the snake was able to escape
  • There was construction happening in the household, and vent covers were not in place, allowing the escaped snake to navigate through the home
  • Likely smelling the scent of farm animals which mimics the smell of typical prey, the snake had a feeding response, constricting and killing both boys at the same time. One boy was wrapped around his chest, and the other around his neck
  • The snake did not try and consume the boys, likely not identifying them as food once the initial feeding response had ended, and returned to it’s home enclosure

You can read the original articles here:

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/07/07/alligatorlike_creature_spotted_in_high_park_pond.html

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/caiman-spotted-swimming-in-pond-in-torontos-high-park/article19498418/

 

The Facts!

  • Spectacled caiman are a species of alligator native to South America. 
  • They are illegal to be owned as pets in the city of Toronto but many people will purchase them as babies anyways.
  • They can be quite defensive, with an incredibly powerful bite, potentially reaching up to 8 feet and living over 60 years
  • Often after having them for a couple year, people will try to revoke or release them
  • The High Park Caiman was too small to be a threat to people, pets or most wildlife. Had he not been rescued, he would have been eaten or would have perished over the winter. 
  • Reptilia assisted Toronto Police and Toronto Animal Services by recovering the caiman from the pond and providing it with a home. 

Want to Fact Check your Article? Contact us!

We’re always happy to collaborate with facts and details regarding reptile-related news. Give us a call or send an email!

(905) 761 – 6223 | vaughanfa@reptilia.org