A Burmese Python that was kept in a Oxford, Florida home as a pet escaped from the aquarium it lived in at the family’s home and slipped inside 2 year old, Shaiunna Hare’s crib where it wrapped itself around the baby, on Wednesday. The baby unfortunately was found dead. An autopsy was ordered to be done today on the baby.

She appeared to have bite marks on her forehead and on her arms indicating that the snake might have been hungry. When Shaiunna’s stepfather came into the room and spotted the snake inside the crib wrapped around the baby he went into a rage and started stabbing the snake according to Sumter County Sheriff’s officer Bobby Caruthers.

“It was hungry I guess and it… bit her and they said it wrapped its body around her,” said the baby’s stepsister, Kristen Darnell.

The Deputies say that there are pending charges on the stepfather, Charles Darnell, who is 32 years old for negligence and also that there were some drugs found inside the home.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims that Darnell didn’t have a permit to own the python to begin with. Darnell also keeps a 6 foot boa constrictor. They say the pythons aren’t native to Florida. The better part of those found in the wild are either escaped pets or their descendants and they can grow to 15 feet or longer.

In my opinion these are not safe pets to keep in your home normally but especially now when you have kids around. I feel sorry for the family in this case losing an innocent child in this. My prayers will be will them. I do hope a lesson was learned here about how dangerous these types of snakes can be. The last place they should be kept is in a home with babies and small children.

Jan Barrett

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