'Magic' World Cup Python Seized

Doc used snake in bid to sway games
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2010 1:46 AM CDT
Britain's princes Harry and William pose with a non-magical African rock python at the Mokolodi nature reserve near Gaborone, Botswana, last month.   (AP Photo/Shayne Robinson)
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(Newser) – South African animal welfare officials have confiscated a "magic" snake that was being used with an eye toward swaying the outcome of World Cup matches. The 9-foot rock python was found in poor condition at the home of a traditional doctor, who had been accepting payment from people seeking to use the snake to contact their ancestors and urge them to help their chosen team. It's not clear which teams the snake was supporting, the BBC notes.

"The snake was living in totally unacceptable conditions and has since been taken to a specialist reptile veterinarian and is responding well to treatment," said an animal protection spokeswoman. The snake's owner complained that animal welfare groups don't understand how traditional medicine operates. He has vowed to use his other snakes to seek revenge, the Independent reports.

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