A photo of a Buenos Aires baby cuddling Coco, his three-meter long pet python, unleashed a controversy in Pablo Podestá, a town in the Tres de Febrero district, yesterday.
Apparently outraged, a group of well-meaning neighbors denounced the family to the authorities, who promptly arrived on scene to remove the pet. The Tres de Febrero Municipality, together with the Directorate of Antropozoonosis, conducted a search of the home in the gated community Altos de Podestá, and did indeed confirm the presence of a three-meter cross-marked albino python, whom the family call Coco.
Coco was immediately seized and transferred to a local serpentarium, “for safety.” Although the family complied with the authorities and did not put up a resistance, the 35-year old owner has said that he hopes to get Coco back one day.
A member of the household opened up to Noticias 3 de Febrero: “We bought him over a year ago.” Apparently, Coco is originally from a region in South East Asia and likes to eat three live rabbits every fortnight.
“The animal was moved for safe-keeping. The family did not put up a resistance,” announced Doctor Eduardo Rainés, from the Directorate of Antropozoonosis. He added that the relocation was probably temporary and that “the judge will decide later if he’ll go to a zoo.”
Rainés also provided some words of wisdom: “A snake is not a pet. They are wild, they bite, and when they feel threatened, they wrap themselves around their prey until they can’t breather anymore.” Pythons can grow up to eight meters long, weigh 135 kilograms and finish off their food by strangulation or constriction. Maybe not the best bet with a baby on the loose.
Let’s hope Coco finds a happier home.