This week media in Jacksonville reported on an incident that occurred a few weeks ago at a private school in the city. During an after-school meeting with students, Trinity Christian Academy biology teacher Whit Weatherford fed a terrified bunny to a Burmese python. The demonstration was captured on video by a student and posted on YouTube. The video, which has since been taken down, shows students laughing as the rabbit is killed and eaten. Of course, in their natural environment pythons do kill and eat small animals. But most snakes, including Burmese pythons, do not need live food. In fact, most reptile experts recommend that people who keep pythons in captivity feed them mice or rats who had been humanely killed. (Snakes can be injured and even killed by rabbits, mice and other rodents who don’t willingly become “food.”)
After the media reports, and public outrage, the school released a statement: “The instructor involved did not use the best discernment in allowing the demonstration. We have taken steps to ensure this type of event doesn’t happen again. The school uses lessons and curricula that teach respect for God’s creative handiwork and this event did not support that.”
Please contact school administrator Clayton Lindstam and thank him for his promise that this incident will never happen again.
Trinity Christian Academy
Dr. Clayton Lindstam, Administrator
Phone: (904) 596-2400
Jacksonville Animal Care and Control spokesperson Kristen Key told a local television station that the demonstration was “a natural phenomenon,” and concluded that nothing criminal occured. But the incident clearly caused deliberate and unnecessary suffering to an animal, which is a violation of Florida law. Please contact Animal Care and Control and urge them to take another look at the incident.
Terry Marques, Operations Manager
Animal Care and Control
Phone: (904) 387-8924