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Conservation officers seize 5.4-metre long python in southwestern Nova Scotia

An Indian officer holds newborn reticulated pythons at a zoological park on the outskirts of the southern Indian city of Chennai August 31, 2006.


Conservation officers have seized a large reticulated python in southwestern Nova Scotia, marking the latest in a series of similar exotic pet seizures across the country.

It's illegal to keep such a snake in Nova Scotia without a permit, a spokesman for the provincial Natural Resources Department said Tuesday.

"It's pretty clear on our website, there's a list of wildlife that are legal to keep with a permit and ones that are not," Bruce Nunn said in an interview. "They seized it because they suspect it was being illegally kept."

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Mr. Nunn said the snake, seized late Monday, is 5.4 metres long and weighs up to 90 kilograms.

This particular species of snake can grow to a maximum length of almost seven metres, making it one of the longest snakes in the world.

Mr. Nunn declined to release more details because the department has yet to complete its investigation. He said it's unclear whether charges will be laid.

"We're keeping details tight because the investigation is still continuing," he said.

The huge reptile has been taken to an approved holding facility, but Mr. Nunn wouldn't say where that is.

Earlier this month, two young brothers sleeping in an apartment in Campbellton, N.B., were killed by an illegal African rock python that had escaped from its enclosure.

The find in Nova Scotia followed similar seizures in British Columbia and Ontario.

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Last week, conservation officers euthanized nearly 50 reticulated pythons found in a home in Mission, B.C. Possession of reticulated pythons is prohibited without a permit under the province's Wildlife Act.

The report from B.C. came the same day that 40 pythons were seized from a motel room in Brantford, Ont.

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