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Friday, February 10, 2012 - 7:00am

Savannah Bans St. Paddy's Snakes

Savannah city leaders are banning the public display of snakes at the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festival.

Pythons and other snakes have been part of the festivities in recent years, and the snake handlers are often mobbed by drunken revelers fascinated by the reptiles.

City officials and local reptile handlers said they are concerned about the potential danger.

Thaddaus Depper, a manager at Exotic Underworld pet store, said people under the influence of alcohol and potentially dangerous animals are a dangerous mix.

He said he won't take out a python longer than 7 feet unless he has another employee standing by because of the risk of being encircled and crushed.