- A US man got fined for failing to restrain his snakes in a public recreational park
- He has vowed to contest the fine in court
- He says his life mission is to help people overcome their fear of snakes
A man in South Dakota, US received a $190 (GHC1000) fine for failing to restrain two of his pet snakes at the public Falls Park in Sioux Falls.
An animal control officer at the park handed Jerry Kimball the hefty fine after his two ball pythons got loose on April 1, frightening other park goers.
The officer warned Kimball that he had to control his pet snakes while in public just like other pets, such as dogs, are controlled. However, Kimball termed the rule "crazy" and vowed to contest the fine in court.
Kimball told a local news outlet that his mission in life is to make people overcome their fear of snakes and that he was giving an educational talk about snakes when the officer approached him.
However, a South Dakota animal control supervisor, Julie DeJong, told the media that the law does not distinguish between animals, adding: "As a pet owner you can't take your dog to the park and let it run around without a leash on. Same thing holds for any other type of animal you take to the park. You have to have it restrained in some way."
While Kimball is determined to contest the fine, he is more concerned about the image of snakes as frightening creatures. He said: "That’s my purpose in life: To let people know that snakes aren’t killers. What better way to give back than to help people understand these misunderstood creatures."
He added that he got bitten by a venomous snake when he was a child but overcame the incident.
Watch Kimball explain the incident in the video below.