Man's Python Killed by Boy at Festival

CINCINNATI (AP) - A man who shows snakes and other reptiles at schools, festivals and libraries says a boy who told the man he hated snakes stomped and killed the man's 10-foot-long python.

Scott Braunstein said he was showing Popcorn, a nonpoisonous albino Burmese python, Sunday at the St. Bernadette Festival near Cincinnati.

"The next thing I know ... the kid raises his leg and stomps down on the snake's head," Braunstein said. "The snake started convulsing."

Braunstein said he saw a man grab the child and say, "This is why I don't take you anywhere," before disappearing.

"I've never, never, had anything like that happen," said Braunstein, who operates House of Reptiles, based in Dry Ridge, Ky.

Braunstein's collection includes alligators, lizards, spiders and frogs. For two years, Braunstein's animals have been featured in a petting zoo at the festival.

"Scott's business is to educate people about reptiles, and his goal is for people to learn to appreciate rather than fear the reptiles that share this planet with us," said Dan Meakin, who founded All Creatures Animal Hospital in Amelia, Ohio.