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.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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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.

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