Like many parents, Devin Winans checked in on his sleeping infant in the middle of the night.
His one-year-old baby boy was stirring in his sleep and Winans felt around the crib. To the parent's shock and horror, he found that a python had slithered its way into the crib.
The python's attack on the baby had just gotten under way, as it had gotten ahold of the baby's foot. The snake was contracting around the foot and had taken a bite. One can only imagine that the snake was preparing to swallow the boy whole.
Devin Winans was able to pull the snake off with a blanket. He then noticed his child’s bloody foot and contacted authorities.
While a python baby attack may be expected in the Amazon, or even Florida, this attack happened in Illinois. So how did a python end up in an Illinois apartment?
Apparently, a neighbor had kept the snake as a pet. It wasn’t reported how the snake escaped the neighbor’s apartment or how it ended up in Winans’ apartment. However the neighbor has been cited. Winans may also want to consider bringing a civil suit.
Generally, owners of dangerous pets are expected to take steps to ensure that their pets do not cause any harm. For example, many jurisdictions have dog bite laws that make owners strictly liable for bites. So it doesn’t matter if the victim instigated the attack or the owner was extra careful with the dog. If the dog bites, the owner is liable.
With a snake bite, particularly a python attack, a similar argument can be made. Pythons are obviously fearsome animals. Owners who choose to keep them as pets should be held responsible if the animal is let loose and injures someone. If you have been injured by a python attack, or an attack by a less exotic animal, you may want to talk to a personal injury attorney to learn your rights.