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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spending 100,000 Euros to find a missing snake, which was dead all this time

Once in a while you come across stories that could make your blood boil as a tax payer, to see municipal authorities spending huge sums of money for something that may not seem to require so much money. But read the following case and wonder about else could have been done, given the situation. A poisonous snake escaped from its owner, and other people in the area are in danger. The authorities need to find the snake, and this is not a lion or tiger that can be trapped easily. Snakes are far more difficult to find, slithering into hidden places and so on. So, you had the authorities literally blocking the entire neighborhood to find the snake, while running up huge expenses; in the end, they found the snake, which was dead (link to article):

After the highly poisonous monocled cobra escaped from its container in March, fire services cleared the entire apartment block, removed all the furniture and gutted the owner's flat. They then sealed all the doors and windows of the building, so the 30 cm (1 foot) long reptile couldn't get out, and set large sticky traps to catch it, Wiebels said.
Officials finally found the snake lying dead in the rooftop apartment of its 19-year-old owner on Thursday. By that time the cost of the operation had ballooned to about 100,000 euros ($133,700). Taxpayers are likely on the hook for 40,000 euros, because an escaped snake is considered public hazard, Wiebels said.

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