Two snakes outgrow Vermont, move to Massachusetts Mack Ralbovsky, left, of the Rainforest Reptile Shows, gets assistance from Vermont game wardens Tim Carey, center, and Wes Butler as they remove a reticulated python, between 17 and 18 feet long, from the home of Pat Howard Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in North Clarendon, Vt. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)
Two snakes outgrow Vermont, move to Massachusetts
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Two giant Southeast Asian pythons that were rescued by a snake collector and were turned over to Vermont game wardens are headed to a sanctuary.
 
The larger of the two reticulated pythons, picked up Aug. 25 by experts from the Massachusetts-based Rainforest Reptile Shows with help from three Vermont game wardens, was a female. It was between 17 and 18 feet long and weighed about 220 pounds. A slightly smaller male was about 15 feet long and weighed about 150 pounds.
 
The snake collector, Pat Howard, said after the snakes had been loaded into plastic tubs for their trip to Massachusetts that he was "smart enough to realize that snake is bigger than I can safely take care of."
 
"Come feeding time is the most dangerous time to be around a snake," said Howard. He has kept snakes for decades and has almost two-dozen smaller snakes in his North Clarendon, Vermont home. "That's when anything goes. And you certainly want to be out of the way. A snake that size got ahold of you, if you didn't have any help with you, you're a goner."
 
The reticulated python is named for the geometric patterns on its skin. It is one of the largest snake species in the world and can reach almost 30 feet long and weigh 350 pounds.
 
Howard does educational programs with some of his snakes. He sets up a booth at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland. He said he got the pythons just days earlier from a New York man who couldn't keep them. He called the bigger one "humongous." He knew he didn't have the permits to keep them. So he called state game wardens.
 
Howard said many species of exotic snakes can be bought inexpensively when they are small, and people frequently call him when they can no longer take care of them.
 
Vermont Game Warden Chad Barrett, who handles exotic wildlife, said the two pythons were probably the biggest exotic snakes his agency has had to deal with. He praised Howard for promptly turning the giant snakes over to the proper authorities.
 
"This one went very smoothly," he said.
 
The Rainforest Reptile Shows, based in Beverly, Massachusetts, does educational and entertainment programs with snakes and other reptiles. It also will take homeless snakes, said Rainforest snake expert Mack Ralbovsky. He drove to Vermont with co-worker EmmaLee Eng to take the snakes back to Massachusetts.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How is Pat Howard smart about snakes?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (33)
  • chelseaa-kol
    9/08/2015 - 08:18 p.m.

    Pat Howard is smart about snakes because she really knows what and what not to do when handling snakes. I know this because in the text it says that Pat does an educational snake program. So that is how Pat Howard is smart about snakes.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/08/2015 - 10:17 p.m.

    I think this is crazy because who would keep reticulated pythons in their houses. Pat Howard is crazy enough to handle them and it is either than his house is too small, or that he did not want them to grow more than 20 feet long. The good thing is that you can feed the snakes once every month depending on what you give them. However, if you want to keep them, then you need permits that allow you to keep them.
    Critical Thinking Challenge:
    How is Pat Howard smart about snakes?
    Answer: Pat Howard is smart about snakes because he realized that the snakes were too big for him to safely take care of them in his house.

  • owenh-ver
    9/09/2015 - 02:50 p.m.

    it is very cool and i did not know that snakes could get that big.

  • collinf-2-bar
    9/09/2015 - 06:37 p.m.

    Pat Howard is smart about snake because he knew that the snakes were to big and he couldn't keep them.

    I was surprised that snakes can grow to be 18 feet,
    220 pounds.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    9/09/2015 - 08:36 p.m.

    I think that people like Howard has interesting jobs. He has to deal with exotic wildlife. There were two large pythons that had been rescued and moved. These two pythons are as long as fifteen to eighteen feet and weigh around one hundred fifty and two hundred ten pounds. There are some booths or programs that teaches about snakes. Howard has gotten the snakes because people don't have the license or ability to keep it. Now the snakes are being sent back.

  • karlees-1-ols
    9/10/2015 - 12:53 p.m.

    Pat Howard, was smart about snakes, because he was able to realize that he was unable to care properly for them. So he had them transferred to a snake sanctuary.

  • keatonm-1-ols
    9/10/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    I think that they should just kill all of the snake that are that big. I am not scared of snakes but they can kill people. I think that they should pay hunters to hunt them down and kill them.

  • mckaylas-1-ols
    9/10/2015 - 01:04 p.m.

    He knew by the size of the snake he couldn't take care of it himself. He knows how the snakes react.

  • jasminpd-1-ols
    9/10/2015 - 01:12 p.m.

    He didn't keep them but did send them to the State game warden. He is smart because he didn't keep them and were scared of them. I hate them. They are so gross especially the big ones.

  • laneys-1-ols
    9/10/2015 - 01:16 p.m.

    Pat Howard is smart about snakes because he has been around them and has taken care of snakes for 20 years. He new he couldn't keep them because they where to big.

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