After a Vernon resident tried to domesticate a pair of gopher snakes, BC Conservation Service reminded that it is against the law to keep wild animals in one’s possession. (Yuval Levy/Unsplash)

After a Vernon resident tried to domesticate a pair of gopher snakes, BC Conservation Service reminded that it is against the law to keep wild animals in one’s possession. (Yuval Levy/Unsplash)

Wild gopher snakes aren’t pets: Vernon conservation officer

After resident kept two gopher snakes in home, conservation reminds it’s illegal to domesticate wildlife

A BC Conservation Officer is reminding that wild animals are not suitable pets in B.C. after a Vernon resident attempted to keep two gopher snakes in their home.

Alexis Phillippe posted to the Vernon and Area Community Forum Facebook page about her landlord’s attempt to domesticate a pair of the blue-listed snakes, alleging they were mistreated in the process.

“These snakes, which are on the blue list for high-risk species with protected habitats, require a licence to have and you can be fined for having them,” she said, citing the B.C. Wildlife Act.

“When I informed him of the fact (after several months of voicing my concern for their living conditions), instead of doing the right thing and giving them to the Conservation Officer Service so they could be properly kept and reintegrated into the wild, he boxed them up and gave them to a lady with short red hair driving a white minivan today,” she said.

Vernon Conservation Officer Tanner Beck said he was aware of the incident, adding wild animals are not to be treated as pets in any circumstance.

“Any wildlife in B.C. — whether they’re blue listed, protected or not protected at all — you cannot keep it in your possession,” Beck said.

When a person is found to have taken a wild animal into their possession, Beck says B.C. Conservation will have to seize the animal.

“You can’t capture any wildlife in B.C. and keep it as a pet.”

Gopher snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act. According to the Ministry of Environment, the snakes are vulnerable to needless killing by humans because of their similar appearance to the Western Rattlesnake.

READ MORE: Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

READ MORE: Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

ConservationWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that’s supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has received a grant for the completion of housing reports for Electoral Areas B, D, and F. (Gerry Leibel photo)
Grant allows Columbia Shuswap Regional District to finish housing reports

Study toidentify issues such as affordability and accessibility specific to Areas B, D and F

The Riverside Forest Walk walk begins at the BC Interior Forestry Museum on Highway 23. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke trail network to expand with the help of CBT funding

Four Revelstoke projects received a total of almost $80,000

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

Most Read