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Reptile Store Owner Attacked by Python, Hospitalized

The owner of a Newport reptile shop was attacked Monday by a 20-foot python reportedly leaving him hospitalized and in critical condition. Terry Wilkins owns Captive Born Reptiles with locations in both Kentucky and Ohio. Corey Roscoe, Ohio state director of The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement: 

“The tragic attack on Terry Wilkins by a 20-foot python was a predictable and preventable incident. Large constrictor snakes attack both vulnerable children living in households where these dangerous predators are kept as well as experienced reptile handlers. With the four year anniversary of the Zanesville incident approaching and this most recent attack, we urge legislators to reflect on the situation in Ohio and how the law in these states can be strengthened to protect its residents. Mr. Wilkins was very lucky that first responders had the experience and knowledge to know how to rescue him, and we commend them for their acts of heroism. We hope that Mr. Wilkins recovers from his injuries. We also hope that snake sellers end their propagation of deadly reptiles to the public, risking their safety and that of first responders.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced federal restrictions on importing eight large constricting snake species in recognition of the ecological damage caused by the release of the animals bred or imported for the pet trade into the wild.

 

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, namini@humanesociety.org, 240-778-5545


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