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.  


Fishing Report From The TWRA

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA: Center Hill:   Fishing is fair.  Water temperature is 79 degrees; lake is fairly stable.  Bass:  A few bass are being caught on topwater baits while fish are chasing shad.  Walleye: A few walleye are being caught while trolling above Sligo in 12-to-15 feet of water.  Bluegill: Several bluegill ... (click for more)

TWRA To Stock Several Thousand Florida Largemouth Bass Fingerlings Into Ft. Loudon Lake

TWRA will be stocking several thousand Florida largemouth bass fingerlings into Ft. Loudon Lake on Friday at Ish Creek boat ramp in Louisville.    The stocking is part of a larger effort to expand Florida largemouth bass genetics into more waters across Tennessee.   After the very successful and popular Florida largemouth bass stocking into Chickamauga Reservoir, ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)