It was the summer of 2013 in Campbelltown, New Brunswick, Canada. Noah and Connor Barthe, who were 4 and 6 years old, had spent the day having a blast with family friends at a farm. That evening, they had a sleepover at their best friend’s house, which was located just above an exotic pet store that his father owned.

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Not all of the animals were kept downstairs in the store. Jean-Claude Savoie owned a 12-foot-long African rock python which was kept in a glass enclosure in the apartment. Somehow, during the night, the python escaped through an air duct. The 100lbs snake broke through the ceiling right above where the boys were sleeping in the living room. The following morning at around 6:30 am, Savoie would walk into the living room to a horrifying scene. The two little boys had been killed – crushed to death by the python.

Their family friends and the community were devastated over the loss of these two very loved children, while the python owner was charged with criminal negligence. He would be found not guilty, surprising some, and relieving others. There are no charges that could ever bring back these two incredible little boys, but there is a lesson here in responsible pet ownership and speaking up when you see something wrong.

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