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10-year-old fine after python bite at CU Halloween party
WEST JORDAN, Utah (11/8/10)--Despite due diligence, things can go awry as one credit union learned when a 15-foot python bit a 10-year-old boy at its Halloween party Oct. 30 for employees and families. The boy, who is fine, is a nephew of an employee at Cyprus FCU, West Jordan, Utah. The snake is a 150-pound star of the animal show from Scales and Tails, a local company that had been in business 10 years and performed educational programs for large public schools. "We host an event every year for employees and their families and hire different acts, such as magicians and face painters, and this year we hired Scales and Tails," said Andrea Barlow, marketing director for Cyprus FCU in West Jordan, Utah. The event was held inside the credit union's corporate offices, in a training room. The $550 million asset credit union performed its due diligence on the company before hiring it. "We carefully reviewed the website of the company, learned who its clients were," she told News Now. "We made sure the company was licensed and insured, and we had them fax their insurance [document] to us, and we reviewed its references." The trainer worked for the local zoo and the company had a permit to have alligators and reptiles. "The kids loved the show. The trainer brought out all kinds of creepy, crawling things such as tarantulas. If it weren't for the incident with the snake, it would have been our best party ever," she added. The incident occurred at the end of the program. "The snake was the last to be brought out, and kids had lined up to pet it. It was just a fluke. It reared around and snapped at the neck and cheek of the boy. The boy thinks it bit him twice. It's hard to tell how many times because the snake had multiple teeth." The snake had no grip on him and was not squeezing. The trainer immediately dropped the python into its crate and announced there had been an incident and for people to move back. "There was no blood or mayhem," Barlow said. "We took him into another room, stopped the bleeding and took him to the emergency room, where he was X-rayed and received antibiotics. "The credit union sent him a big care package. He went trick or treating the next night, and is back playing football. He's not traumatized and says he'd continue hunting for snakes in his yard," she added. The snake is being monitored by a veterinarian to make sure it's not sick. "When snakes shed, they get glassy eyed and can't see well," Barlow said, adding that the python began shedding after the event. For other credit unions considering animal acts for children's parties, Barlow urged paying attention to due diligence. "Make sure you have first responder kits, first aid kits, and have contacts for media established…if anything doesn't feel right, pay attention to it."


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