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Python Kills Oxford, Florida Girl; 911 Call: “Our Stupid Snake Got Out in the Middle of the Night”

Fri July 03 2009 2:31 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=11300
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EMERGENCY-911-AUDIO
Burmese Python 911 Call Oxford, Florida
9-1-1 Audio of emotional call for help after a Burmese Python apparently killed Shaunia Hare overnight.

Charles Jason Darnell 9-1-1 Call Transcript:
“Our stupid snake got out in the middle of the night and strangled the baby!”

Our snake, we have a Burmese Python … she’s about 12 foot long … she got out of the cage last night and got into the baby’s crib and strangled her to death.

A 12-foot pet Burmese python escaped from a home terrarium and strangled Shaunnia Hare, 2, in her bedroom in central Florida.

The two-year-old girl was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10am on Wednesday.

The owner of the Burmese Python snake that is known to be a predator of small mammals is Charles Jason Darnell, who is also the boyfriend of Shaunnia’s mother. He discovered the snake missing from its terrarium and, fearing the worse, went to the Shaunnia’s room, and found her dead. The girl was still wrapped in the snake, which is known to kill by constricting the chest of its prey and causing death by suffocation. Shaunnia also had bite marks on her forehead.

Darnell stabbed the snake and was able to free Shaunnia from its hold on the girl. Still alive, the snake was handled by police and wildlife officials and was placed in a bag then inside a dog crate.

The snake will be placed with someone who has a permit, pending an investigation into the girl’s death.

The Humane Society of the United States reports that at least 12 people have been killed in the US by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.

Burmese pythons are not native to Florida, but have become a problem as some owners irresponsibly have freed pythons into the wild, resulting in a python population of them has taken hold in the Everglades. Some Burmese pythons escaped in 1992 from pet shops during devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. The snakes have been reproducing in the wild.

When the snakes grow to full size, even human adults can be overpowered by pythons.

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