Rehabilitation for wild animals?
An aggressive six-foot long jungle python showing very visible signs of addiction was taken to a wildlife recovery center operated by prisoners in Australia after it was found and rescued during a drug raid at a crystal methamphetamine lab last year.
The police were expecting to seize kilos of drugs, drug-making paraphernalia and loads of cash; however, they were shocked to see before their very eyes a python on top of the boxes.
According to one of the officers, some criminals use snakes or dangerous animals to protect hidden stockpiles of drugs and guns.
The poor snake apparently absorbed drug fumes and particles through its skin.
Ian Mitchell, a senior overseer at John Morony Correctional Complex in Berkshire Park said that the snake’s meth addiction made it more erratic, confused, and beyond normal aggressiveness.
“It just takes time for the drug to leave the snake’s system, but through our assistance, we managed to calm it down after several months and bring it back to its routine feeding patterns,” Mitchell said.
“Besides the reptiles associated with criminal cases, we rehabilitate venomous snakes like eastern browns and red bellies that might have been found in backyards or by the side of the road,” he added.
The care center run by the prison also provides home for other animals like turtles, wallabies, possums, kookaburras, bearded dragons, emus, wombats, and a big number of native birds.
Rehabilitation for humans
According to Corrective Services New South Wales (CSNSW), minimum-security inmates are selected to participate in the wildlife program.
Ivan Calder, the Prison Governor of Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre said that the wildlife program, which has been running for nearly 20 years, also helps rehabilitate inmates.
“What we see with the men in our care in their approach to animals is that it softens them and it humanises them,” Calder told BBC.
“Giving the inmates the opportunity to care and take responsibility for animals is a major enabler in their rehabilitation and a major agent for behavior change” he added.
The python did not wish to be induced in drugs but ended up in its terrible situation; just like some of the prisoners, not all people wish to be in a bad situation but unfavorable events lead them to that.
As we people deserve a chance to change, animals too. The prisoners help the python and all the other animals in the center, without them noticing that the animals they care for give back the favor and help them to be better persons. What a great picture.