07/26/10 Python Killed in Peljesac

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Dr. Ante Starcevica 23
20 000 Dubrovnik

Subject: Criminal charges for torture and killing of a reticulated python in Peljesac

Dear Sir or Madam,

Based on reports by citizens and the media, we report Eugen Uvodic and Kreso Frankovic from the village of Prapratno on the Peljesac peninsula for torturing and killing a reticulated python.

According to information from the media from July 24, 25 and 26, 2010, based on the statements and photographs by Eugen Uvodic and Kreso Frankovic, a snake 3.54 metres long and weighing about 35 kilograms was found in a small storage room of about 3.5 square metres in the house belonging to Kresimir Frankovic, while where it came from remains unknown. After seeing the snake, Frankovic called his friend Uvodic and they were trying to kill the snake for two and a half hours, in the end, as they stated to the media themselves, cutting off its head with an axe. Although, as they said, the snake, measuring 40 cm in the diametre, was not very active during the capture, the two men stabbed it with the spear of an airgun, and then, while it was coiled and wounded, kept it for two and a half hours with its head speared. After killing it, they took the snake to a local cafe to show, took photographs with the snake and called the media to brag about their "heroic act."

A reticulated python (Python reticulatus) is, in spite of its size and strength, not considered to be dangerous to people, which was also indicated by the behaviour of this snake. Although the snake exhibited no signs of a possible attack, instead of leaving the snake in the 3.5 square metre room, where it could not harm anyone, and calling the police and veterinarians for help, Uvodic and Frankovic acted in a way which exposed the snake to injury and long-lasting torture, after which they cut off its head with an axe. This violates the Animal Protection Act, and we have therefore submitted a report to the Veterinary Inspection.

Considering that the reticulated python is protected by the CITES Convention, we have submitted a report to the Directorate for Nature Protection Inspection.

Since their act was not motivated by self-defense and fear for their lives, but rather by prejudice because of the size of the snake and the desire to make themselves look like heroes, it constitutes torture and violence towards a helpless animal. Two and a half hours of torture clearly points to giving vent to their low instincts and intentionally inflicting pain to an animal, which violates Article 260 of the Criminal Code.

Therefore we ask, due to far-reaching consequences of such behaiour, conveying the message that violence towards animals in acceptable, that you take measures to sanction this act by the offenders. To sanction torturing of animals is to contribute to raising public awareness that violence towards animals is not acceptable, ethically or legally, and that persons responsible will be punished as foreseen by the Law.

Please inform us in writing of the measures taken, of which we will then through the media inform the public.


Luka Oman
President of Animal Friends


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