‘Bigfoot’ laid to rest

Owner says farewell to giant python who spent final years at South Surrey exotic animal refuge.

Josef Demcak in an undated photo with Bigfoot

Bigfoot, a 4.5-metre Burmese python who lived out his last days in solitude at a rescue facility in South Surrey, has died.

He was prevented from being put on public exhibit for the last three years of his life, but the public – and the media – were invited to his cremation last Friday at an animal crematorium in North Vancouver to say goodbye.

The massive, more than three-decade old Burmese python was put on ice after he died Sept. 23.

“Bigfoot died sad and lonely,” according to his owners, Jozef and Bibiana Demcak, who said in a press release the snake had been part of a traveling exotic animal exhibit for than 30 years as part of Jozef Demcak’s Exotic Animals Science Museum and the Jozef Magic Show.

Bigfoot spent the last three years at Urban Safari Exotic Animal Rescue Society’s refuge at 1395 176 Street, but wasn’t on display and was kept apart from other snakes, including his relatives.

The public facility does have snakes on public view, but none that are greater than three metres in length, according to owner and operator Gary Oliver, a friend of the Demcak’s and member of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce.

Demcak was prevented from exhibiting Bigfoot because he was unable to obtain a permit, under changes to B.C.’s Wildlife Act in 2009.

Demcak’s attempt to challenge the Controlled Alien Species regulation – which covers dangerous animals from crocodiles to big cats – was ultimately unsuccessful, Oliver said.

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