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

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Twin falls in Yoho National Park. Yoho is one of the mountain parks whose draft management plan is now available for review. (Claire Palmer photo)
Local input sought to shape future of mountain national parks

Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks are amongst those seeking input

The last 400 bear-proof garbage bins will be rolled out this spring. Keri Sculland/Star Photo
The bear-proof garbage bins are a must to keep bears out of town. Keri Sculland/Star Photo
Bear bins required as weather warms

The Town is reminding people to make use of their bear bins now that the bears are back in town

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

New parking meters have been installed on Main Street, Ellis Street, Front Street, Nanaimo Avenue and Padmore Avenue in Penticton. (City of Penticton photo)
Pay parking now in effect in downtown Penticton

A spot downtown will now cost you $2 per hour

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Most Read