Generally, when you find a loose snake in your yard, it’s a call for alarm, but for one homeowner in South Miami-Dade, Florida, it was the snake who needed help (video below).
Firefighter Scott Mullin responded to a call on Dec. 11 from a family who stumbled upon a snake in their backyard. At first, they were scared, until they saw that someone had sewn the snake’s mouth shut, the Miami Herald reports.
Mullin recounted the bizarre incident on Facebook:
I had a strange call today. Now you may think any call I run at Venom One would be strange but this one was a first. As you can see I picked up this baby ball python. It was found outside a home in South Dade. The family had never seen it before. I reached down and gently picked it up.
Now I have never come across a Ball Python that was not a sweetheart. They are by nature very docile snakes. They truly make a great pet. For those of you that are not snake people Ball Python’s are not a native snake. They are originally from Africa but now are breed here in the United States for the pet trade.
Well as you can see from the pictures someone sowed her mouth shut. I have never seen this done. I did see a show once on snake charmers in India who sowed the mouths of Cobras shut to insure they would not bite the snake charmer but this is a first for me here in the states.
I took the snake by a good friends home who breeds Ball python’s and with his help gently removed the stitches.
Can anyone tell me why this would have been done to this gentle snake?
Mullin’s post went viral and has been shared more than 5,500 times since Dec. 11.
The family brought the baby snake, which was no more than 14 inches long, to a local reptile rescue group, the Miami Herald reports. Mullin helped the rescuer in removing the thread from the reptile’s mouth.
“It could have been there for a month,” said Mullin. “It was really in bad shape. It’s horrible.”
Although snake charmers in India routinely sew the mouths of their snakes shut, the practice is deemed too cruel in the West. Some have suggested that the abuse could be related to Voodoo or Santeria.
Nelson Hernandez, owner of a botanica and pet shop, said the practice of sewing a python’s mouth shut is closely associated with a dark sect of Voodoo for someone who wishes to put a curse on someone.
A Voodoo practitioner will write a person’s name on a piece of paper, collect other items of the subject and stuff it into the python’s mouth before sewing it shut.
“It creates a state of agony in the animal,” Hernandez said. “It’s so that the human [who is being cursed] feels dragged, agonized, desperate. It’s very dark witchcraft.”
Sources: Miami Herald, Scott Mullin/Facebook / Photo credit: Lt. Scott Mullin via WFLA