The nanny state has got this guy feeling like a snake on a leash.
South Dakota snake owner Jerry Kimball was positively “dumbfounded” to learn he could not let a snake roam freely in a park. Kimball was fined $190 for not having his 4-month-old fire bee ball python on a leash, and he is not happy about it.
“It was April Fool’s Day, so I thought he was playing a joke,” Kimball told Argus Leader about being ticketed by an animal control officer. “They’re not fast creatures. They’re not going to run away.”
The thing about snakes, though, is that they can still move. Which is why the officer suggested Kimball put a leash on his pet.
“He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake,” Kimball told the publication “I was like ‘dude, no.’ I was dumbfounded.”
Kimball said in a Facebook post that he was holding an “educational meet and greet” featuring his snakes, through his group Sioux Falls Snake Adventures. Though Argus Leader only mentions one fire bee ball python, a photo of the citation states that there were two ball pythons on the grass with “nobody holding them.”
Kimball was ticketed for “animals running at large.” Last year, 253 citations were issued in the city of Sioux Falls for violating the rule. Kimball, however, doesn’t think it should apply to his snakes.
While he might have to leash his pet, Kimball could take solace in knowing that as of this week, he would theoretically be allowed to legally ship reticulated pythons and green anacondas one state to another within the continental U.S. Yay!
Kimball said he plans to fight the ticket.
“That’s my purpose in life: To let people know that snakes aren’t killers,” Kimball said. “What better way to give back than to help people understand these misunderstood creatures?”
Because nothing will help people feel more comfortable with a python than having it roam freely in a park.