Two exotic snakes discovered in Riverdale trash bin

Aug 27 2010 - 12:29am

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RIVERDALE -- Two exotic snakes were found Wednesday in a trash bin in Riverdale, but police have no idea why they were dumped. "We couldn't even venture a guess," said Police Lt. James Ebert.

The two snakes, one a South American boa constrictor and the other a red-tail boa constrictor, were found in a trash bin near the Motel 6, 1500 W. Riverdale Road. The snakes had been put in plastic totes then tossed into the bin, Ebert said.

Riverdale and South Ogden Animal Services removed both snakes from the bin, but a South American boa constrictor had died.

"They were both in great health," until they were dumped, said James Dix, founder of Utah Reptile Rescue Service, who took the living snake after it was rescued. "The (smaller) one had basically died from heat and suffocation, but the larger one was still alive. It got the container open and escaped and was loose in the dumpster. That's what kept it from overheating and dying."

Dix said the animal service workers had to climb into the trash bin to retrieve the snake. "They saved its life," he said.

Dix said anyone who has a reptile they can't care for can call Utah Reptile Rescue Service at 801-860-2497 instead of killing the creature or throwing it away.

"There's no reason for someone to do that," he said. "Please call us. There is no reason for this."

He added that the person who dumped the snakes could face some serious legal issues if they are caught.

"They can be charged with animal cruelty," he said. "You can be charged with a felony now. It doesn't have to be a dog or cat."

Dix said animals that are rescued are generally kept in the facility, used in exhibits or transported to another area if it is an illegal animal such as an alligator.

He said the snake that was rescued Wednesday will have a home with Utah Reptile Rescue Service after it is checked out by a veterinarian.

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