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      Zoo director baffled after report of two children strangled by snake

      Glady's Porter Zoo snake

      Pythons at the Glady TMs Porter Zoo in Brownsville are never handled without two adults.

      It's one of many rules in place for constricting snakes to avoid accidents, according to Dr. Pat Burchfield, the zoo's executive director.

      "Something like a snake can never be considered to be tame and they're to be respected," he said.

      A 100-pound African Rock Python is believed to have strangled two boys on Monday in Canada.

      A pet store owner said he found the 5 and 7-year-old TMs dead after the snake escaped its enclosure.

      He claimed it got into the ventilation system, then into the apartment above the store where the boys were having a sleepover.

      The shocking attack has baffled Dr. Burchfield.

      "It's very unusual behavior for a big constricting snake of any kind whether it's a Burmese Python, a Reticulated Python, large Boa Constrictor, Anaconda... Humans aren't typically on the food list," he said.

      While extremely rare, Rock Pythons, which can grow longer than 15 feet, have attacked humans in the past.

      The last known case dates back to 2002 when one killed and swallowed a 10-year-old boy in South Africa, according to online reports.

      Richard Moore is a wildlife reporter for Action 4 News.

      He says large exotic snakes don't make for great pets.

      "You really have to be very careful and be sure to have a secure environment because snakes in particular have a great ability to squeeze through small openings and get out," he said.

      Dr. Burchfield calls the reported snake attack in Canada a terrible tragedy.

      "I think the take home message here is now-a-days you go to flea markets, pet shops you see these large exotic snakes being offered in the pet trade, you need to better informed that they will grow up," he explained.

      The two boys who died won't be able to grow up.

      What's still a mystery is exactly how they died.

      The snake in question has been euthanized.

      An autopsy has been ordered on the animal and the boys who died.

      Police have launched a criminal probe.

      The pet store owner in question has not been charged.

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