An escaped snake has killed two children in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, police said.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they believed the reptile had strangled the two boys, aged five and seven, in Campbellton.

The boys were staying overnight at a friend's apartment above an exotic pet store.


"The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a large exotic snake had escaped its enclosure at the store sometime overnight, and got into the ventilation system, then into the upstairs apartment," police said in a statement.

"It's believed the two boys were strangled by the snake."

The python had been recaptured and was being held by police, the statement added.

Local newspaper National Post reported that the python is an African rock python and is between 14 to 16 feet long. Initial reports said the snake was a boa constrictor.

An autopsy on the two boys will be performed on Tuesday.

According to local TV station Canada Broadcasting Corporation, in 2009, the province of New Brunswick allowed pet stores to sell non-poisonous snakes, lizards and other exotic pets in the province.

Source: AFP