TWRA euthanizes remaining 14 snakes seized from TN preacher - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

TWRA euthanizes remaining 14 snakes seized from TN preacher

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Holding a bible high Andrew Hamblin, the pastor of the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, stood on the steps of the Campbell County and declared his faith in God and his right to handle snakes. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel. Holding a bible high Andrew Hamblin, the pastor of the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, stood on the steps of the Campbell County and declared his faith in God and his right to handle snakes. Photo by J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel.
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -

Wildlife officials Monday euthanized the remaining 14 poisonous snakes confiscated from a LaFollette preacher after the health of the animals continued to decline.

The snakes suffered from multiple parasites and pathogens that had already killed 39 copperheads and rattlesnakes seized from pastor Andrew Hamblin, of the Tabernacle Church of God in Campbell County, in November.

Hamblin was exonerated earlier this month by a grand jury on charges of illegally keeping dangerous snakes. But the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency kept the snakes taken in November with the intent of placing the copperheads at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo.

According to Michael Ogle, curator of herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, however, the snakes were thought to be infected with the same diseases that killed the rest of the 53 snakes. There is no successful treatment for the pathogens, which could be fatal to other snakes if they were to be exposed.

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.


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