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Snake on Drugs: 6-Foot Python Sent to Rehab for Methamphetamine Addiction

Apr 12, 2017 11:56 AM EDT
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A six-foot python which has shown signs of methamphetamine addiction after living in a drug lab is taken to a prison rehab in Australia. After months of treatment at the Corrective Services-managed wildlife center in Windsor, the python is finally clean and is ready to get back to the "real" world.

The six-foot-long python was seized during a raid of a methamphetamine lab. As reported by International Business Times, the python had absorbed drug fumes through its skin and has developed addiction to it. The report added that the python was more aggressive than normal and it appeared jittery.

"Normally these pythons can be a little bit snappy, they are constrictors and not poisonous, and they just lie around," Ian Mitchell, senior overseer of the wildlife center based at the John Morony Correctional Complex, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "This one was very aggressive and had very erratic behavior."

Because of the effect of the meth on the python, it had to be detoxified for six weeks. Mitchell explained that it will take a long time for the snake to get the meth out of its system. However, the center was able to "calm down" the meth and bring it back to its normal feeding pattern. 

The wildlife center at the correctional facility, according to BBC, has been running for nearly 20 years. Aside from snakes, the rehab program also deals with bearded dragons, blue tongue, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, wombats and native birds.

The animals are under the care of 14 selected prisoners in a minimum security facility. Their job is to clean and feed non-venomous reptiles, while staff with professional training handles venomous ones.

Prison governor Ivan Calder told BBC, "What we see with the men in our care in their approach to animals is that it softens them and it humanizes them ... Giving the inmates the opportunity to care and take responsibility for animals is a major enabler in their rehabilitation and a major agent for behavior change."

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