Remaining Campbell County Snakes Euthanized As Health Continued Deteriorating

Monday, January 20, 2014

The 14 remaining snakes from the seizure of a LaFollette pastor in November were euthanized on Monday as their health continued deteriorating from multiple parasites and pathogens.

The TWRA, the Knoxville Zoo, and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine have been cooperatively handling decisions on the snakes’ welfare and came to the unfortunate decision that the snakes should be euthanized. 

According to Michael Ogle, Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, “The 14 remaining snakes are highly suspected of being infected with the same pathogens that have proven fatal for the other 39 snakes brought to us from Campbell County.  This is due to the overcrowded conditions they were being kept in prior to their arrival at Knoxville Zoo. There is no successful treatment for these pathogens, which could be fatal for any other snakes, captive or wild, that might be exposed to them.  Unfortunately, due to this risk, we cannot safely bring them into a captive conservation program or release them into a wild population.  Additionally, the longer we house these snakes, the greater the risk we expose our collection to these pathogens, which could be catastrophic for our animals.”

Ambitions were to originally place the copperheads at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo.

Dr. Ed Ramsay, professor of zoological medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, said, "Unfortunately, most of the snakes were emaciated and several had severe skin and respiratory infections.  In addition, many of the snakes were very sick with a variety of parasites, and some of the parasites are untreatable."

Dr. Juergen Schumacher, a colleague of Dr. Ramsay at the UTCVM, had also examined the snakes and concurred that the snakes should be euthanized.  

The TWRA, in conjunction with the Campbell County District Attorney’s Office, obtained a court order giving TWRA ownership of the snakes.  With this document in hand and after an evaluation from two veterinarians, the TWRA gave the consent to allow the snakes to be euthanized.  

“The snakes’ welfare has been the top priority since day one and we support the professional decisions of the veterinarians and the zoo’s experts,” said TWRA Sgt. Joe Durnin who handled the case for the agency.  


Water Fowl Seasons To Be Set, Presentation Of Fishing Proposals On TFWC August Agenda

The 2014-15 state waterfowl hunting seasons and a preview of next year’s sport and commercial fishing proclamations will be among the agenda items for the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its August meeting. The meeting will be held Aug. 28-29 (Thursday-Friday) at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials ... (click for more)

Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Most Improved Trail: Forney Ridge

Soak up vistas from the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome, on the September Classic Hike of the Smokies. Hikers will also enjoy the fruits of the Smokies Trails Forever program as they walk above the clouds along the reconstructed Forney Ridge Trail.  Hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein will lead this Friends of the Smokies hike on Tuesday, ... (click for more)

Storm Brings Heavy Rain, Wind Through Area

Severe storms brought heavy rain and wind north of Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. EPB crews were dealing with power outages in Brainerd, Soddy Daisy, Shallowford-Tyner and East Chattanooga. It was a very busy evening for emergency responders in Cleveland and Bradley County. The evening storm that passed through Wednesday brought a lot of heavy rain and wind that caused ... (click for more)

Man Robbed, Stabbed At Hixson Pike Bus Stop

A man was robbed and stabbed at a bus stop on Hixson Pike on Tuesday night. At approximately 9:30 p.m., officers were called concerning a robbery at 3800 Hixson Pike. Phani Tangirala, 22, was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for treatment of a stab wound to the abdomen. Medical personnel stated that Mr. Tangirala appeared to have a non-life threatening wound to ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)