Garrison hilli 2006-12-23 23:57:41
Pet python kills owner
BY JANICE MORSE | JMORSE@ENQUIRER.COM
Ted Dres, 48, died Saturday after his pet snake wrapped itself around his neck,
Dres died at Bethesda North Hospital about 1:45 a.m., despite Loveland-Symmes
medics’ efforts to save him.
Officials said the death highlights the risk that comes with owning exotic pets.
In Butler County, a man was bitten by a pet monkey last month and a woman was
bitten by her pet python in August.
State lawmakers are considering exotic-pet regulations. In Kentucky, some
officials in Campbell County are considering an exotic-pets ban.
“People who keep these type of animals as pets should know exactly what they’re
doing and what they’re capable of,” said Andy Mahlman, spokesman for the
Cincinnati Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Mahlman said he has seen photographs of reptile owners posing with snakes coiled
around their necks. “They don’t realize they could be a few seconds away from
death,” he said.
“This is not just a joke or a plaything,” Mahlman said. “You’re dealing with a
creature that is capable of killing.”
Dres’ snake is being kept at the society’s shelter until further directions from
police or Dres’ family, Mahlman said. It could end up with one of several
reptile-rescue groups that work with the society.
About 12:45 a.m., an acquaintance of Dres called 911 to report that Dres’
13-foot-long python had wrapped around his neck inside its cage in the 10000
block of Lincoln Road.
“The snake continued to strangle the victim until deputies arrived,” the
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said.
They found Dres face-down in the cage with the snake around his neck. Deputies
removed the snake from Dres, and Loveland-Symmes medics performed
cardiopulmonary resuscitation. With deputies’ help, members of an
animal-protection group used a blanket and rope to “bag” the reptile.
Garrison hilli 2007-02-16 01:39:42
Knowledge not enough
Experienced handler was killed despite care
BY JENNIFER MROZOWSKI, JMROZOWSKI@ENQUIRER.COM AND PEGGY O’FARRELL,
A man killed early Saturday by a pet python was an experienced snake
handler who loved animals, his mother said Monday.
“Ted knew snakes so well. He’d had snakes since he was 9 years old. He
knew exactly what to do,” said Elaine Dres, of Rossmoyne.
Ted Dres, 48, died early Saturday at Bethesda North Hospital. The
construction worker’s snake, an 11-foot Burmese python, wrapped itself
around his neck, strangling him.
Elaine Dres said her son slipped and fell into the cage, which was
about 6-by-3 feet and about 3 feet tall, and the snake attacked. Dres’
girlfriend called 911, she said. Sheriff’s deputies and workers from an
animal-protection group “bagged” the snake, but Loveland-Symmes medics
could not revive Dres, said Fire Chief Jim Huber.
The attack happened at Dres’ home in the 10000 block of Lincoln Road in
Next-door neighbor Craig Schatzman said he was in shock over the
accident, particularly because Dres was so adept at handling the snake.
Schatzman said Dres would bring the snake outside in the front yard to
show the neighborhood kids and let them touch it. But he was also
protective of the snake, Schatzman said.
“He treated it like we treat cats and dogs,” he said. “He loved it.”
The snake is being held at Hamilton County SPCA’s shelter.
Dres’ death prompted the Humane Society of the United States and the
Animal Protection Institute to renew their call on state legislators to
ban the private ownership of exotic animals Monday.
“Keeping wild animals in our communities is simply too dangerous to
public safety and to the welfare of the animals,” said Dean Vickers,
Ohio program coordinator for the Humane Society.
Private ownership of wild animals is “an accident waiting to happen,”
said Nicole Paquette, director of legal and government affairs at the
Animal Protection Institute.
Arrowhead Reptile Rescue has lined up a new home for the snake.
Elaine Dres said her son had owned the snake for more than 10 years.
Members of the Herpetological Society of Greater Cincinnati visited the
snake Monday at the shelter. Dean Allesandrini, vice president and
conservation committee chairman of the herpetological society, said the
snake “looked a little bit underfed.”
If the snake was underfed, hunger might have made it more aggressive
and prone to attack when its cage was opened, he said.
“That’s almost always how it happens when someone gets injured by a
python,” Allesandrini said. “They’ve got a very strong instinctual
He and Grady Calhoun, president of the society, both evaluated the
The python “actually looked a little small, considering it killed a
human,” Allesandrini said. “We were both shocked that it was able to
kill a man.”
Pythons kill their prey by biting it, then wrapping their bodies around
the prey and constricting, he said.
“If you struggle, the snake thinks its prey is getting away and
constricts tighter,” Allesandrini said.
Snakes in the wild are solitary animals, he said. Kept as pets, they
don’t bond with their owners the way a dog or cat would, “but they do
stop seeing you as a threat. But if you smell like a rabbit, the snake
Shawn Hughes, who breeds and sells ball pythons in the Mount Washington
area, said pythons are more likely to bite if they’re hungry or they
haven’t been handled enough by their owners.
Female Burmese pythons can get as long as 20 feet and weigh up to 270
pounds, he said.
Dres’ calling hours will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Strawser Funeral
Home, 9503 Kenwood Road in Blue Ash. The funeral will be 10:30 a.m.
Friday at the funeral home.