Alaska Firefighter in Hot Water Over Garter Snake

May 11, 2013
On the Web
by Cindy Steinle

On the Web - While it may seem silly to some, the recent illegal collection and irresponsible transport of a Garter Snake has a firefighter in some hot water.  While there are plenty of Garters in Idaho, they are under state protection and you can only collect them with a permit.  Then there is also the dangerous, illegal and irresponsible way that the animals were transported, including two of them getting loose on the plane.

Oh, if only Mayo had listened to Alaska Fire Service crew boss Logan Churchwell of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management back in August.

“Churchwell ordered defendant and the other firefighters to release the snakes and not to board the bus with them or the chartered Boeing 737 airfcraft that was to return the firefighters to Fairbanks,” according to court documents.

Mayo didn’t listen. He’d couldn’t part with his five new-found friends — a two-foot-long garter snake and four others officially described as “smaller snakes.”

And Mayo probably didn’t do himself any favors when he turned the trip home to Alaska into a “Snakes on a Plane” adventure.

“During the flight to Fairbanks,” court documents say, “at least two six-inch long snakes were observed loose in the aircraft. Churchwell stated he knew the defendant had brought the snakes on board the plane. Churchwell helped capture one of the loose snakes. The other was never caught.”

But the plane did land safely.

While we can understand his passion, the intentional breaking of laws has us shaking our heads.

Read the full article after the jump.


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