Facebook erupted with fury on Monday after reports surfaced claiming that a python escaped from Reptile Ocean Inc. and killed two young boys in Canada. The 5- and 7-year-old victims lived in an apartment above the store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday, according to USA Today.
The self-proclaimed pet service, which has more than 450 Facebook "likes," kept an oddly cheerful post on their page after the incident: “Sharing Is Caring, share this page. lets reach 420 likes.” Andrew Autio, clearly offended by the message, wrote back, “You know what ISNT caring...have your snakes escape and then kill some children.”
The pet store responded, “Wow. Not needed right now,” which ignited dozens of more responses from upset Facebook users.
“This is so sad ! prayers for the childrens family! And unfortunetly [sic] issues like this ARE what gives responsible snake owners bad names . I am also going to keep the employees of Reptile Ocean in my prayers,” Teresa Byrd Thornton added.
Tim Arnold simply posted, “Have fun in jail!”
After the pet store's site was berated for a few hours they issued an apology, according to 680 News: "deepest sympathies goes out to the family of the children. a terrible accident without a meaning. this page will be shut down temporarily to avoid any further demeaning comments." But the second half of the statement, which was made by someone who "helps with the page," according to News 680, only fueled already-irate FB users, "you should be ashamed of yourselves. we all have a heavy heart today. as anyone would. and attacks on the animals owner are unnecessary."
As promised, Reptile Ocean Inc. has since taken down its page.
It's not apparent how the killer snake escaped, but according to USA Today it's believed the slithering reptile absconded through the ventilation system and then asphyxiated the boys. Pythons are non-venomous, and can grow up to 20 feet long. The town of nearly 7,000 people, which is located in eastern Canada, "is in shock," Deputy Mayor Ian Comeau said, according to USA Today. Comeau added that pythons have only been legally imported in Canada since 2009.