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Conner and NoahNew Brunswick, Canada — The owner of the snake that killed two sleeping boys earlier this week may be facing manslaughter charges.

Police were called to a home at 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning where an African Rock Python had killed 5-year-old Connor Barthe and his 7-year-old brother, Noah.

Connor and Noah were sleeping over with a friend in the home of snake owner Jean-Claude Savoie, in an apartment above the Reptile Ocean pet store. The snake measured between 11 and 15 feet long and weighed almost 100 pounds. It was initially being reported that the snake had escaped an enclosure in the pet store, but police later revealed the snake was kept in the same apartment the boys were sleeping in a specially built enclosure.

Regardless, then snake climbed into the ceiling, making its way into the ventilation system of the building and into the living room ceiling where the brothers were sleeping. Because of its weight, the snake reportedly fell through the ceiling and landed on the mattress where Conner and and Noah were sleeping, strangling them both at the same time.

Savoie slept through this and did not realize what had happened until he got up that morning. “At first, I didn’t even realize. I thought they were sleeping until I seen the hole in the ceiling, everything had fallen and I turned the lights on and I seen this horrific scene,” said Savoie.

Some experts are saying the snake went after the boys because earlier that day, they had been at a farm playing with llamas, goats, and other animals. Since snakes do not visually recognize their prey, the smell of these animals on the boys may have contributed to the snake mistaking them as food.

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A criminal investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed at this time, but Savoie could be looking at manslaughter and criminal negligence charges. New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources said it was illegal for anyone to keep that breed of snake unless they had a permit from the department. They are currently checking to see if Savoie had that permission. The snake, which Savoie had owned for ten years, was later destroyed by a veterinarian.

The Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton is helping police with their investigation, and manager Bruce Dougan had a lot to say in regards to how snakes like the one that killed Conner and Noah should be kept..

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  • its sad to think hes being charged…..BUT I hear its not the first time this snake has escaped…..however those kids were his best friends kids, im sure the guilt he has is tremendous. :/

  • its sad to think hes being charged…..BUT I hear its not the first time this snake has escaped…..however those kids were his best friends kids, im sure the guilt he has is tremendous. :/

  • I believe it is illegal to own those snakes in that area because of things like this. If that is true, yes, he deserves it. If I’m wrong, I believe any pet is the pet owners responsibility. Snakes are meant to be free. What kind of life is it for it to be caged and not allowed to do as it was designed to do? True admiration of an animal like that would be to enjoy it from its lifestyle. Not to cage it and incorporate it into yours. IMHO.

  • I believe it is illegal to own those snakes in that area because of things like this. If that is true, yes, he deserves it. If I’m wrong, I believe any pet is the pet owners responsibility. Snakes are meant to be free. What kind of life is it for it to be caged and not allowed to do as it was designed to do? True admiration of an animal like that would be to enjoy it from its lifestyle. Not to cage it and incorporate it into yours. IMHO.

  • Woohoo, we made the map. Somehow I knew I’d see this on DD

  • Woohoo, we made the map. Somehow I knew I’d see this on DD

  • newstarshipsmell

    Part of me strongly wishes that news reporters would grammatically correct their quotes, sic be damned, so I wouldn’t seen the mistakes mouthbreathers like Savoie make moving their lips.

  • Agreed. Overall it’s just a terrible story.

  • Agreed. Overall it’s just a terrible story.

  • sugarpie

    What are the freaking odds that on this one night that these two little guys stay at this home, the bohemoth snake gets out and at the very moment its over their bed it falls through the ceiling onto them. That alone gives me the hebee jebeez. Damn, why couldn’t it have fallen in the kitchen sink or something? God rest their little souls 🙁

  • I hope to see charges filed. This isn’t a domesticated animal. This is a predator that is capable and motivated to kill anything small enough. I think it’s retarded to own animals like that with children in the home to begin with, so if something goes wrong, I see no reason not to file charges.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    My cold heart aches for these little boys. As I read this article, I could just imagine their last minutes of life and it made me incredibly sick. I cannot even fathom how their parents are dealing with this tragedy. I hope the owner pays big for this. This was preventable and a fucking shame. If you own an exotic/domesticated animal, you have to take every precaution possible! RIP baby boys…

    Damn PMS!

  • Tragic all the way around. I agree.

  • Buffettgirl

    I see what you did there with “retarded”… 😉

  • Buffettgirl

    You aren’t alone! That was driving me batshit! “I seen” I mean really, is the world THIS ignorant and lazy? Dumb question…

  • Buffettgirl

    And THIS is why I hate snakes! Snake lovers be kind to me, I’ve lived in Africa, I’ve had mambas in my house, the fear/hate I carry for these minions of Satan is well earned! Those poor little dudes, my heart aches for their family, and for their little friend that had them come sleep over…

  • Is this photo legit? If so, why were these boys cleaning out a reptile enclosure in their underwear?

  • DeweyCheatam

    And, apparently it was illegal to own this particular snake to begin with. IMO, an illegal act resulting in something like this deserves an enhanced punishment.

  • Kelly Eklectusbird

    I can’t believe they killed the snake for doing what comes naturally to snakes.


  • Actually, I’m just an avid user of the term. Not classy, but it just works. 😛

  • That is retarded.

    Our legal system in Canada is utterly fucked and should be erased and started over.

  • Andyman

    Yes the world is fucked. I hear that shit daily and it is fucking annoying. I seen this. No you fucking SAW that.

  • TheLadyDragon

    Agreed, the snake wasn’t legal and therefore this should be prosecuted for sure.

  • TheLadyDragon

    It pained me to retype it… Bwahaha.

  • I just had to write about it, thanks for your help Morbid.

  • Curious:

    1. Why are there pictures of the boys cleaning a big reptile tank in their underwear?
    2. Why were the boys sleeping in a different room than their friend?
    3. Why did the snake land exactly across both of them, killing both at the same time?
    4. Why didn’t the snake – seeing that the kids smelled like goats and such – devour them?

  • JohnQknowitall

    The owner’s Pit Bulls are safe and well if that makes you feel better.

  • Dre Mosley

    I just never understood the whole keeping snakes as pets thing They’re such dull creatures when in a domestic environment.

  • Jessica Stewart

    1. Apparently they were friends with the kid they were sleeping over with, who’s dad also owned the pet store downstairs, It took me reading several articles to extract all the relationships.
    2. Yes, exactly WTF? This is the part that makes it seem the most suspicious, oddly, cause everyone knows when you sleep over, you sleep in the same room as your friends, that’s kinda the point.
    3. Also why would a snake landing on them kill both of them/stun both of them long enough, for it to strangle them, I don’t think snakes can strangle 2 kids/animals at once, at least not if they’re that size relative to the snake

    4. Same question, Usually if a snake is gonna bother to strangle something, it eats it.

  • Whisper Wing

    according to new and that’s all that’s been on our news since it is Canada
    the boys had been at a petting zoo / farm earlier in the day and they said the snake could smell the animals scent
    There has been outrage on both sides. Some who have an affinity for snakes have picked apart news stories for details on why the pet would strangle Noah Barthe, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, as they slept. It turns out the boys had been around farm animals during the day, which could be why the reptile attacked.


  • rpgmomma8404

    I love snakes but I totally understand where you are coming from. My mom was scared of snakes for a longest time. She still doesn’t like certain ones but she’ll at least go around corn snakes or the small more harmless ones.

  • True, although, I must say, I held a snake exactly like this at a *buddy’s house a few years ago and… man, it was kind of a rush. So, while I would never own one. I can kind of see why someone would.

    *The buddy was a large young bachelor with no kids and a large young male roommate. No kids came to the house for any reason ever.

  • JustBrowsingLife

    Although I am extremely heartsick at the loss of human life that did not do anything to antagonize this animal I do not agree with destroying the animal for doing what comes naturally. I do, however, see the point of view of the animal control department because once an animal kills a human it will not hesitate to kill another. They could have come up with an alternative plan such as donating the animal to a rescue shelter or a private owner with a permit. If there is a permit process then they have access to a current list of people that would gladly take the animal into their government approved home.

  • JustBrowsingLife

    As to Question 4 snakes will not eat something that could choke them to death. I have seen this very thing happen with a boar on National Geographic. A snake was killing far animals and trying to eat them but the prey was too large to be swallowed whole. A farmer set up a hidden camera to see why his pigs were dying. I don’t remember which show it was on but it was gruesome.

  • Jessica Stewart

    I would like to meet your large young male bachelor friends, Athena, and we can talk about snakes ;} lol

  • Jessica Stewart

    I thought the whole point of being a constrictor variety was that if you could wrap your self around something, you could squish it into a size you could eat, y’know smashy all the bits in to a squishy, easy to swallow tube?

  • Neon_Gonorrhea

    Morons being moronic, and a snake being a snake. Snakes bite and strangle when they are hungry, and a 60lb kid is a potential meal to a 100lb snake. I am not against people in a proper position to do so, owning these things. Having children sleeping in the building though, is obviously not someone in that position.

    Seems like common sense to me. These charges would be justified.

  • JustBrowsingLife

    Well that is true yo a point. The snake first smothers it’s food. The crushing happens during the swallowing process as the food is pushedin. I am not an expert bit I do have a car crash mentality when watching nature shows. I don’t want to look but I do.

  • JustBrowsingLife

    I also owned a king snake which is a constrictor snake. The eat live mice and they smother and then shove it down their gullet. You can see the lump go down and the snake crushing it with its muscles.

  • Parrot Toes

    He should know better too, being Canadian. Then again, his name indicates his French-ness 😛

  • Buffettgirl

    I can manage to be around the smaller, harmless types, but not for long! 😉

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    Criminal charges and wrongful death. Stupid fuckface taking a wild animal and using it as a pet, then leaving it hungry so it escaped its enclosure, went hunting, and smelled something resembling its natural prey on those kids. *grumbles*

  • I understand it was probably fun, but I can only imagine that tank is filled with bacteria and the likes. I certainly wouldn’t let kids play around in it, much less clean it.

  • derae

    I’m a snake lover and I don’t hate you for hating them. If I grew up around that many poisonous snakes, I hate them all too.
    Snake owners have to make damn sure that the enclosure is secure. It’s sad that these two boys lost their life and the owner of that snake should be held accountable.
    What pisses me off though (and I digress) is that not many owners of vicious dogs are charged with manslaughter. It needs to straight across the board. If you own an animal, you are responsible for its actions. If it kills or maims, you are accountable, no matter what the species of pet. *puts away soap box*

  • technicolorpachyderms

    Their expressions/poses gave me the impression that they were playing/sliding around on the soapy ground, probably in their underwear so they don’t get soap,etc. all over their clothes?

    EDIT: I see someone downthread already said something to this effect. Don’t mind me.

  • Jessica Stewart

    Oh, yeah, super-gross, snakes have some naaaaasty bacteria in/on them. But we’re also talking about a guy who thought it was o.k. to keep a snake, that weighed more than his child, in the house. He’s lucky his own kid wasn’t killed before this. The guy seems about as sharp as a sphere.

  • JGo555

    Mongoose bitches, a mongoose.

  • Sudonim

    It’s not illegal to own it, it’s illegal to own it without a permit. They also say they don’t know if he has a permit and are checking. Who knows maybe he does have one? Really it’s no different then owning a gun, as long as you have the proper paper work you’re good to go. What a novel idea it would be to have enhanced sentencing for someone who didn’t have a gun permit while committing a crime with a gun, very unlikely to happen though. Also if he had the permit then he wasn’t committing any crime, so there wouldn’t be anything to enhance *shrugs*

    Side note: A friend of mine owns an exotic animal rescue in Ontario. All the animals they ‘acquire’ come from shelters,vets,etc. Animals that have been seized because people don’t have permits for them or ones people stumble upon. It always amazes me that people can even get some of these animals to begin with.

    They had 5 baby crocodiles come in last summer and they did this awesome pond enclosement for them, while transferring them into it one of them ‘nipped’ my friends husband, basically just drug a tooth across the back of his hand, but it shredded his hand with 2 huge gashes that nicked a vein. They couldn’t close the wound because it was so jagged and he had to be on heavy doses of antibiotics because of how germy their mouths are. And that was just from a baby and not even an actual full on anyone would want that for a ‘pet’ just stupefies me.

  • NY_Mommy

    Riki Tiki Tavi

  • tapu

    It’s a legitimate dialectical variation in US dialects. I think those forms are remnants of Scots-Irish influence. Perhaps there’s a pocket of it in Canada, too?

  • Sudonim

    It’s being reported that he had permits, at least in 1996, they aren’t saying if he still has permits. The snake who killed the boys was given to him by the government though under an agreement that he houses them but the government still owns them.

  • TheLadyDragon

    Sorry when I initially wrote the article there was only information pertaining to the snake being illegal, no mention of the owner possibly having a permit.

  • beautifullwild


  • beautifullwild

    They do not smash the prey down to bits. They eat whole prey items. They will actually spat the prey out if it is too large for them to swallow. Snakes have very small brains. However, they are instinct driven. They also will not go after a human just because they supposedly strangled these boys. IF the snake tried to eat the boys, there would be more tall tell signs other then just strangulation. I can not fathom how a snake, even a large one, could strangle both boys at the same time.