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Posted by Neal on March 14, 2002 at 16:45:08:
A couple of weeks ago I posted about a problem we had trying to ship snakes to Pennsylvania. I received an email asking me to post again as to what happened.
We were shipping two Cal Kings, one Ball Python and two Sonoran Gophers to a buyer off of Herpauction. He requested UPS overight, which we have done before...just labled the box perishable and since we ship from Mailboxes Etc. and they ask you to list contents we listed them as "crickets". This has always been our method, and we've never had a problem. We were expecting a huge cold front to hit our area (Missouri) on Tuesday, so we made sure and shipped Monday so they'd be out before the cold air. Temps in PA were great.
On Tuesday evening, we got an email from the buyer that the snakes were still in Missouri. We checked the tracking and found that the box had been taken to Springfield airport, but was now back in Branson on a "Fish and Wildlife Hold." That's when we first posted.
Here's what happened. We contacted a friend who works for the MO Dept. of Conservation. He promised to call on Wednesday and see what was up. By the time he called, the package was already in Pennsylvania, out for delivery. It seems that the UPS people decided the box was too heavy for crickets (never bothered them before) and opened it. They returned it to the Branson center until they could determine that there were no venomous snakes in the box. Apparently that didn't take long, as the box ended up shipping Tuesday night and was delivered before noon on Sunday. However, by opening the box (it was insulated) and keeping it an extra night in Missouri, the cold front hit and the Ball Python ended up dead on arrival. The colubrids were fine.
I've never heard anything from MO Dept. of Conservation or UPS. Makes you wonder why, if they won't ship snakes as they say, that after opening the box themselves and finding snakes they shipped them anyway once they knew they were harmless.