Pet python to be cremated in North Vancouver

A public memorial will be held at North Vancouver’s pet crematorium Friday in honour of a Surrey man’s pet python.

30-year-old python 'Bigfoot' lived solitary life, owner says

Man says he should not be forced to hide his snakes from view 2:25

A public memorial will be held at North Vancouver’s pet crematorium Friday in honour of a Surrey man’s pet python.

Bigfoot was 4.5 metres long and weighed 54 kilograms, and was one of six snakes owned by Jozef Demcak, a reptile lover and the owner of a touring exotic reptile show.

Demcak says Bigfoot used to tour with the show, but since 2009 B.C. laws have prevented him from displaying or transporting Bigfoot without a permit.

Demcak says he applied for such a permit, but he was denied.

So, the 30-year-old python spent his last few years in a rented space at an exotic animal rescue centre in Surrey.

"It was very disgraceful to me," Demcak said. “I had him since he was a baby. I was really attached to him, even he was huge, I was still hugging and carrying him,:

Bigfoot died three days ago, but Demcak froze the body so the python can be cremated tomorrow.

The B.C. SPCA says legislation governing controlled alien species was brought in as a safety measure.

"Pythons, boa constrictors, and other venomous snakes are controlled under the Controlled Alien Species regulation under the Wildlife Act," said SPCA spokesperson Sara Dubois.

"This was done to prevent accidents and tragedies, like the recent one in New Brunswick. So it's a public safety issue."

Last month, an African rock python kept in an apartment above Reptile Ocean in Campbellton, N.B. escaped its enclosure, slithered through the ventilation system into a room where Noah Barthe, 4, and his brother Connor, 6, were sleeping. The snake asphyxiated the boys.

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