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.  


Waterfowl WMA Application Deadline Approaching

Applications will be accepted until midnight (CDT) on Wednesday, Sept. 28 for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s 2016 Wildlife Management Area waterfowl hunts. A computerized drawing system will be held to select successful applicants based on the priority drawing system. Hunters may apply at any TWRA license agent, at any TWRA regional office, or online at www.tnwildlife.org ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: NPS Guided Canoe Tour of Lookout Creek September 27 You're invited to join Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, family friendly guided canoe tour with a ranger on Tuesday, September 27, at 5:30 pm. The Friends of Moccasin Bend and the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Highway 58 Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run In Dayton, Tn.

A Highway 58 man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run of a Rhea County man.   Walter Hale was badly injured and later died after he was struck in Dayton.   Authorities were led to Douglas Edward Alvey, 52, through video from the We Care business in Dayton, where the 60-year-old victim worked.   After officers with the Dayton ... (click for more)

Man, 78, Found Dead With Gunshot Wound To The Chest At Residence On Central Avenue

A 78-year-old man has been found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest at a residence on Central Avenue. Chattanooga Police were called to the 1900 block of Central Avenue on Thursday at 10:08 a.m. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located George Garth deceased. At this time there is no suspect information available. Chattanooga Violent Crimes Bureau investigators ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)