Live python found at NZ airport as border reptile seizures rise

live carpet python found at Queenstown Airport was one of at least six snakes seized at New Zealand borders since the start of last year.

A total of 110 reptiles were intercepted at ports and airports in 2019, up from 93 the year before.

Most of the intercepted reptiles were still alive.

And they are all Salmonella factories.

The carpet python, if established in NZ, could harm native food webs and ecosystems, according to an ecologist.

Introduced reptiles could also impact agricultural productivity and incur economic costs from expensive eradication efforts, according to research from Florida-based ecologist Dr Ikuko Fujisaki​.

Dozens of stowaway reptiles, including snakes, have been detected at container ports and wharves in the past year.

Burmese pythons established in Florida were now so prolific in the Everglades National Park, the state was hiring python removal agents.

Meanwhile, a dead flying snake, chrysopelea ornata​, was found on a New Zealand wharf this year.

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Don’t eat dead snakes or food in containers that held dead snakes

The Hindustan Times reports at least 50 people from Odisha’s coastal Kendrapara district, most of them women and children, were taken ill after they consumed food from a container that had a dead snake in it, said an official on Thursday.

The incident happened during a community feast at Maa Shankatatarini temple in Chandan Nagar Deuli village under Pattamundai block of Kendrapara district where 30 families were having their meal. Many of the people were hospitalised after they started to vomit, said the official.

“They showed signs of food poisoning. However, many of them were discharged after administration of intravenous fluid,” said the medical officer of Pattamundai Sub Divisional Hospital, Chandra Sekhar Das. The community feast was organised by a women self help group of the area.

The presence of the dead snake was detected during the washing of the utensils.

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Is that a snake or you just happy to see me? Sushi restaurant scare

Hiroshi Motohashi was angry with the management of the Studio City sushi restaurant, so police said he decided to leave something for other customers to remember him by. of “dropping the mic” after a memorable rant, officials say the 46-year-old man dropped a 13-foot-long snake in the middle of the restaurant — then slithered out.

Motohashi later was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, said Lt. Jim Gavin of the Los Angeles Police Department in Van Nuys.

The cold-blooded act unfolded about 7:20 p.m. Sunday when Motohashi entered Iroha Sushi of Tokyo in the 12900 block of Ventura Boulevard and showed off a small snake to customers sitting down for dinner.

Restaurant managers confronted Motohashi and asked him to leave, Gavin said.

Motohashi left, but returned minutes later to the restaurant with an even bigger snake: a 13-foot-long python.

The snake owner said, “[Expletive], you guys,” then dropped the larger snake in the middle of the restaurant floor and walked out, the lieutenant said.

There was no confusing the yellow python slithering on the restaurant floor with a supersized caterpillar roll.

Employees told KCBS-TV that Motohashi had paid for a $200 meal before showing off the smaller snake to customers. The customers did not like that. They liked the giant snake even less. Some terrified customers even ran out of the restaurant, the station reported.

Snake in Ocean Spray cranberry sauce triggers CFIA probe

Snake bites are common in Queensland this time of year. A four-year-old girl was flown to hospital yesterday after she was bitten on the toe by what was thought to be a baby python inside her home. The incident followed a spate of snakebites across the state last Sunday, one of which claimed the life of a far north Queensland grandfather.

205237-545470d4-7d03-11e5-af42-a02bd40851beBut in a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce?

Aimee Casciato of St. Catharines (Ontario, that’s in Canada) posted photos on social media, sharing the not-so-delightful surprise she found as her family sat down to dinner.

“The kids are grossed out. My eight-year-old said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to eat anything from a can again,'” she told CHCH news.

When Casciato contacted Ocean Spray, the company offered her a $10 coupon, and then a rebate after she rejected the first offer, she said.

“I said ‘are you kidding me?’ I’m not really interested in buying your product anymore.”

While the creature has been sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ocean Spray told CTV News they’re also working with officials to determine precisely what happened.

ive-had-it-with-these-motherloving-snakes-2-3412-1445971581-2_big“This is an isolated incident and all products currently in stores or in homes remain safe to consume,” spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan said.

The creature, which has been identified by the Little Rays Reptile Zoo as a garter snake, can be found in just about any environment, such as marshes, fields and forests, according to Canadian Geographic.

It’s not unusual: UK spike in Salmonella cases linked to snakes

Public Health England have linked a spike in Salmonella cases to an unlikely source – snakes.

It’s not unusual.

You see a reptile, I see a Salmonella factory.

In the UK, 70 cases have been reported so far in 2015 involving people handling reptiles.

Professor Jeremy Hawker said the bug was primarily contracted from handling raw and frozen mice which are then fed to snakes.

He also warned that it could be caught from furniture, clothes and household surfaces contaminated by infected droppings.

But Welsh crooner Tom Jones has a simpler message that snake owners should take to heart.

Salmonella in snakes

For humans, Salmonella is always bad news. The bacterial pathogen causes paratyphoid fever, gastroenteritis and typhoid. But for snakes, the bacteria aren’t always bad news. Certain species of Salmonella are a natural part of the snake microbial collective. However, the occasional species can cause a disease. Reptile handlers would love to know when they have a potentially problematic pathogen lurking in the midst of their snakes.

UnknownTo better understand the variety of Salmonella species harbored by captive reptiles, Staten Island Zoo has teamed up with the microbiology department at Wagner College. Eden Stark, a graduate student on the project, her advisor, Christopher Corbo, and the zoo’s curator and head veterinarian Marc Valitutto want to know how many Salmonella species live among the Staten Island Zoo rattlesnakes. The zoo has a long history of exhibiting one of the most comprehensive rattlesnake collections in the world, currently with 21 of 38 species on display.

So far, Stark has surveyed 26 species of snakes. “Few other institutions have undertaken such broad scale analysis of Salmonella in snakes,” notes Valitutto. The research will be presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Annual Meeting during Experimental Biology 2015.

In particular, the investigators are on the lookout for pathogenic species of Salmonella, such as Salmonella arizonae. This species of Salmonella has been known to cause infections in snakes called osteomyelitis. It has a predilection for the bones, such as the vertebra. The bone may deform, and as the infection spreads, the deformed vertebrae may stop the snake from slithering.

The infection may be surgically removed or treated with antibiotics if it’s localized and caught early enough. But if left untreated, the infection may eventually cause the snake to die.

“If we do get a snake that is positive for arizonae, we’re concerned,” says Valitutto. “We would not want add something like that to our collection because there’s a possibility it will infect our other reptiles.”

Another reason to account for the different Salmonella species is for the safety for the zookeepers. Salmonella “is strictly a pathogen for humans. It’s something that anyone who handles reptiles, even people who keep them at home as pets, has to be very cautious about in handling them or anything that is part of their enclosure,” says Corbo.

To categorize the Salmonella species, Stark isolated the bacteria from snake fecal samples. The feces were collected by seasoned zookeepers at Staten Island Zoo who know how to handle venomous snakes.

snakes.on.a.planeAs expected, because snakes are natural hosts for Salmonella, Stark found a large number of Salmonella species in the fecal samples. She did find several species of Salmonella that are well-known as human pathogens, such as Salmonella typhimurium which can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea for about a week.

In the few cases where Stark possibly detected the snake pathogen S. arizoniae, the news was interesting to the zoo because the snakes weren’t showing any symptoms evidence of disease. “It’s important for keepers to know that a particular species of snake is carrying a potential pathogen so they can keep an eye on it,” says Corbo.

Corbo adds that the handlers will now know that the tools they use to handle the snakes harboring S. arizonae need to be cleaned with extra care so that they don’t accidentally infect other reptiles, especially snakes.

Stark is now delving further into the analysis with the polymerase chain reaction. She is testing each Salmonella species she isolates with the technique to see if the bacteria are expressing proteins known as virulence factors. This detail is important because not every potential pathogen will express virulence factors. The bacteria only become a problem if and when they turn on the expression of virulence factors and become infectious agents (for this reason, Salmonella arizonaie within snakes can even be further subdivided into more pathogenic serotypes).

Customers denied diced onions, throw snake at Saskatoon Tim Hortons employee

After a dispute over diced onions on a breakfast sandwich, two men threw a snake over a counter towards an employee of a Saskatoon Tim Hortons.

TimHortonAccording to Saskatoon police, staff members “fled the store in fear” after the incident, which took place Monday around 7:30 a.m. at the Tim Hortons in the 600 block of 22nd Street West.

“I’ve never heard of a snake being thrown at an employee by a customer … It was definitely a little chaotic,” said Saskatoon police spokeswoman Alyson Edwards.

“The staff was shocked and afraid and fled the store.”

Staff told police that two male customers were arguing with an employee about their breakfast order – specifically that they wanted their onions diced. When the argument escalated, one of the men reached into the pocket of the other man, pulled out a garter snake and threw it behind the counter.

No one was injured, said police.

Officers quickly found the snake and determined it was not venomous, said Edwards.

The two men, both 20, are facing charges of mischief and causing a disturbance.

Snake barfs cow: probably wasn’t cooked to temperature-verified 165F

Video posted on YouTube this month purportedly shows a snake throwing up an entire cow over the course of a minute-and-a-half. The clip, “Anaconda Snake Pukes Out A Cow In A Jungle River,” has been viewed more than 151,400 times in five days.

 Some YouTube commenters said the creature may actually be a capybara, a large rodent resembling a guinea pig that is native to South America. They’re also common snacks for anacondas.

But the snakes are known to feast on a variety of animals, including fish, large birds and even jaguars. In captivity, they’re fed rabbits and frozen pigs.

One species, the green anaconda of South America, is the largest snake in the world, growing to more than 29 feet and weighing more than 550 pounds, according to National Geographic.