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Crews euthanize four alligators from pet shop linked to python attacks

RCMP work at the scene of a fatal Python attack on Monday Aug. 5, 2013 at Reptile Ocean in Campbellton, N.B.


Four alligators have been euthanized after being found at an exotic pet store in the same building where two New Brunswick brothers were killed by a python.

The adult American alligators, which are not legal in the province, were killed by a veterinarian on Friday because no accredited zoo could be found to take them in, said Bry Loyst, curator of Indian River Reptile Zoo in Ontario.

"They could not be placed anywhere," said Mr. Loyst, who is in Campbellton to help remove animals from the store. "Just very unfortunate. Accredited zoos have collection plans. … They build the cages before they acquire the animals normally so no one has accommodations for large alligators like that."

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Bruce Dougan, the manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, N.B., also confirmed that four alligators were to be euthanized.

Animal handlers on Friday are removing a total of 27 illegal reptiles from Reptile Ocean, the store owned by Jean-Claude Savoie. The other 23 animals are being taken to zoos in New Brunswick and Ontario.

Noah Barthe, 4, and his brother Connor, 6, were killed by a 45-kilogram African rock python in an apartment upstairs from Reptile Ocean. Mr. Savoie hosted the brothers at a sleepover with his son on Sunday night.

Preliminary results of autopsies show that the boys were asphyxiated by the snake. Police say the snake escaped a glass tank inside the apartment, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through a ceiling into the living room where the boys slept.

The province's Natural Resources Department obtained a warrant earlier this week to search the store and remove and relocate any illegal animals.

Spokeswoman Anne Bull would not confirm that the alligators were being euthanized. "I can't confirm our comment on that while our investigation is ongoing," she said.

The building has been cordoned off with police tape since the boys were found dead Monday morning.

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With a report from The Canadian Press

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