Zoo finds snakes in a drain – Metro US

Zoo finds snakes in a drain

The search for sneaky snakes came to an end late yesterday afternoon when two missing Malagasy Giant Hognosed snakes returned from the drain to their enclosure.

Garth Irvine, a zookeeper for the snake exhibit, left the opening to the drain uncovered while he waited for water to warm up in order to clean the snake enclosure.

“A normal procedure that’s been in place for seven years since the building was opened wasn’t followed — that isn’t acceptable,” said Cathy Galliver, the zoo’s director of conservation and research.

Galliver said the public’s safety was never in danger during the escape.

Irvine, who has been employed by the Zoo for 23 years and worked full time in the Destination Africa exhibit for eight years, was visibly distraught over his part in the incident.

“I’m deeply embarrassed,” Irvine said yesterday, prior to the snakes’ return.

“Two animals I’ve cared for a long time are missing because of me.”

The Savannah building was closed yesterday to allow for a search of the enclosure’s drainage pipes.

At 3:30 p.m. Monday it was discovered that the snakes, who are siblings, had made their way into the open drain.

Both snakes found their way back into their enclosure on their own, with their keeper closing the drain behind them.

All involved in the search remained silent as the two snakes made their way back inside the enclosure.

Today the Savannah exhibit will be opened at its regular time with all snakes back safely in their home.

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