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article imageUpdate: Snake leaves landlord a loss

By Brandigal (Donna)     Mar 7, 2007 in Environment
Experts now give up trying to find the Cobra that was left in a rooming house in Toronto.
Update to: Snake
Philip Belanger is left with a $40,000 debt because a cobra cannot be found inside his rooming house for the last 6 months. 5 tenants had to vacate the house leaving behind all their belongings since September.
The reptile experts and the city's public health department have given up trying to find the snake and they say it must be dead. The snake has not been seen since the fall.
Belanger is not sure he believes the snake is dead and he does not believe the experts think this as well as they did not find the dead snake. They tore apart his home, ripped walls apart, rooms sealed off and flour is caked into the carpets. The flour was in hopes of tracing the snakes tracks.
They even sprinkled snake poo over the house in hopes of luring the snake out. But that did not work. They used fibre-optic camera to peer into ducts and crawl spaces and even used heating equipment to try and lure the snake to the heat. When that did not work they turned the heat down to below 0C in hopes of freezing the snake.
Now if he can get people back into the house, he has to post a letter that says "this type of snake could not likely have survived these prolonged cold temperatures ... (but) the body of the snake has not been located," so "we cannot say with absolute certainly that the snake is dead."
The insurance company will not knock down the house because it has not been declared condemned. So he is left holding the bag.
He said he does not think his tenants will move back in and he does not blame them. One tenant just wants to get in and get his things. He said he is not comfortable going back in the house because it is still in there somewhere.
The owner of the snake, Helder Claro, is appearing in court today to be sentenced for mischief and common nuisance.
I think he should have to pay the costs this home owner is now facing. It was illegal for him to have the snake there in the first place.
I know i would not go into that house. If experts believe the snake is dead then why are they making him post that sign up?
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