The aquarium’s medical team sewed up Pythie’s ouchie before sending him home to Warfield. (All photos courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

‘Pythie’ finds hisssss way back to the Kootenays

Oscar’s treasured stuffie was lost during a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium

Pythie is ssssso happy now that he’s been reunited with his owner, four-year-old Oscar Staben of Warfield.

The story began last week when the Staben family was in Vancouver to visit BC Children’s Hospital for a medical test. Afterwards, mom Andrea Hall brought Oscar and his brother Rocco, 2, to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. The boys brought their stuffed snakes along for this highly anticipated outing.

That’s how Oscar’s snake stuffie, called Pythie, became lost so far away from his Kootenay abode.

“To most of us, it’s just a stuffed snake, but to Oscar, it’s his best friend,” said Andrea. “He cried most of the drive home.”

As soon as the family was settled back in, Andrea emailed the aquarium in hopes of getting Pythie back.

Unbeknownst to Andrea, right before she pushed “send,” someone at the Vancouver Aquarium discovered the blue and green stuffed python stranded in the Graham Amazon Gallery. Pythie had a one-inch tear on its tail, so he was a little worse for wear.

That’s when the Aquarium’s Visitor Experience team leapt into action, not only to reunite Pythie with its human, but to create a few special memories along the way.

Kelsey Smith, assistant manager of Visitor Experience, called on the help of head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena and the Aquarium’s veterinary team to address the snake’s injury.

The animal experts conducted a thorough physical exam, administered twelve sutures to repair the tear, then monitored the snake through post-operation recovery.

“Care and connection are at the heart of everything we do at the Vancouver Aquarium,” said Karen Howe, director of visitor experience at the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative.

“Our team saw an opportunity to turn a sad experience to a truly memorable moment and, in true Vancouver Aquarium style, there was no shortage of helping hands.”

Pythie, along with a treatment plan from the vet team for ‘love and hugs’ as well as some photos from Pythie’s adventures at the Aquarium, were delivered to the Staben family early last week.

“Pythie has arrived safe and sound,” said Andrea. “Thank you for taking such great care of him and for the clean bill of health. It has meant the world to Oscar to see photos of Pythie’s adventures at the Aquarium. I have one truly appreciative little boy.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


The Vancouver Aquarium returned Pythie, by special mail, into the joyful arms of Oscar

Pythie appears to gave enjoyed his time visiting the Vancouver Aquarium.

Just Posted

Trail blows late lead, beats Vernon in OT

Owen Ozar’s goal 12 seconds into OT gives Smoke Eaters a 5-4 win over Vipers and 2-0 series lead

Columbia Basin trails to see improvements

The next intake for the Trust’s trails enhancement grant program opens April 4

Beaver Valley Nitehawks oust Nelson Leafs from playoffs

The Nitehawks eliminate number-1 division seed Nelson Leafs from playoffs with Game-6 victory

Trail wins series opener against Vernon

All scoring comes in third period as Smoke Eaters beat Vipers 3-1 in BCHL Interior semifinal opener

Unlock the potential of food, talk to a dietician

March is Nutrition Month; Celebrating dietitians helping Canadians unlock the potential of food

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Kootenay Ice close out WHL tenure in Cranbrook with emotional win

The Ice finished their 21-year run in Cranbrook with a 5-4 win against the Red Deer Rebels on Sunday

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

B.C. man mourns the loss of classmate killed in New Zealand mosque attack

When he heard news of the attack, he sent a message to his friend

Ethiopia minister: ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes

Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Paris for analysis

Most Read