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An officer in Pennsylvania shot and killed a 15-foot-long pet snake that was strangling its owner.

Source: FOX 29 Philadelphia/Youtube

Emergency personnel responded to a call in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, about a 28-year-old man that was in cardiac arrest with a snake wrapped tightly around his neck. When they arrived, they found the man lying on the floor, unresponsive, Lt. Peter Nickischer, with the Upper Macungie Township, told The Washington Post.

One of the officers fired a single shot at the snake’s head, and the reptile released its grip and slithered away before dying. Nickischer told The Washington Post that the paramedics conducted “lifesaving measures” before transporting the snake owner to the hospital, although his current condition is not known.

It is not known what type of snake it was or why it was attacking its owner. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. A woman was found dead in Indiana with a snake wrapped around her neck, proving once again that snakes are not meant to be domesticated.

Just like humans, snakes can suffer from anxiety, stress, and trauma. Their lack of space to explore and stretch, hunt for food or regulate body temperature can lead to these ill effects. Biologist Clifford Warwick estimates that up to 75% of snakes die within a year of being brought home as pets.

Snake breeders and traders breed these animals to excess and without care. They are usually sold after being kept in confined areas, and owners are not checked for safety or given much information on handling. Snakes often escape and turn into invasive species.

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