May 29, 2014 - 12:40 PM
"IT'S LIKE SOMEONE REACHED IN AND JUST CRUSHED HER."
KELOWNA – Staff at the West Kelowna Buckerfield’s are mourning the loss of one of their pet snakes after she was found with her head mysteriously crushed Tuesday afternoon.
The body of Miss Cuddles, a 4’ long Corn Snake, was found curled up under her plastic house by store employee Mike Illig Tuesday.
“Before I went for lunch at two o’clock was the last time I checked on her. I went for lunch then I was busy until around 4:30. I was going to throw a mouse in there because that has to be done when we aren’t busy but she was coiled up in her cage,” he says. “I went to pick her up and that’s when I saw that her head was squished. It’s like someone reached in and just crushed her.”
Illig has worked at the West Kelowna farm and feed store since it opened and he says since Miss Cuddles was bought from a breeder two years ago she has become his favourite snake in the store.
“I play with her every day. She’s a pet,” he says. “I give her to little kids to try and teach them about snakes.”
Miss Cuddles, whose age is unknown, was kept in a glass terrarium for kids to observe and, if they ask permission, even hold.
“I could give that snake to a little kid without any fear of it biting,” he says. “She was so tame I thought there was a chance someone would steal her but I never thought anything like this would happen.”
Illig does not know if the snake was killed deliberately or if it was an accident, but says either way the person responsible should have owned up to what they did.
“It was a very weird situation,” he says. “It could have been an accident, it could have been a really little kid and the mom just tried to cover it up but that’s no excuse.”
The store is looking at replacing the snake but Illig says he is doubtful they will be able to find one that is as relaxed around humans as Miss Cuddles was.
“She was just a really good snake and what happened was just really sad,” he says. “Before I replace her, I want locks on the doors so this can’t happen again. It’s too bad we have to think like that but we have to protect our animals.”
Buckerfield’s is no stranger to having store pets taken from them. Annie, the beloved cat that lived at the Kelowna location, was stolen by a couple from Ashcroft April 12 and then promptly returned after the thieves’ conscience caught up with them.
“It’s getting a bit ridiculous,” Illig says. “I don’t know who does this kind of thing.”
Anyone with any information about what happened to Miss Cuddles is asked to contact the store at 250-768-8870.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at email@example.com or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014