View Full Version : Bottled Snakes and Pickled Kittens

11-24-2004, 04:31 PM
From the "you just can't make this stuff up" files:

New Zealand Herald ^ | November 24, 2004 | NZPA

A woman upset when police seized her three preserved snakes stormed into the Hamilton station and threw a jar of pickled kittens at the counter.

Susan Hoskyn, 39, said she could barely contain herself as she made her way to the police station about 1pm on Sunday.

"I walked in the door and said, 'You've taken my snakes - here, have my [censored] as well', and slammed the jar on to the counter."

Hoskyn said the snakes, which she bought from an antique store, held special spiritual significance for her because she was born in the year of the snake and used them to help to celebrate Halloween.

She also kept the two kittens for Halloween celebrations, using them to give the house a scary look.

The kittens were still-born from the couple's cat.

Police communications manager Kris McGehan said that although the encounter sounded amusing, it had serious consequences.

"The jar shattered. It was full of formaldehyde, which is highly toxic. The public counter had to be closed, which caused police and the public a lot of inconvenience.

"Two phones had to be replaced and we had to monitor the health of staff who may have absorbed the chemical or its fumes."

Hoskyn, unemployed, was arrested and appeared in court in front of a community magistrate on Monday charged with behaving in an offensive manner.

She did not enter a plea.

Hoskyn said her trouble began on Sunday when she had an argument with her partner, Tony.

"I slipped over and cut my head, Tony panicked and called an ambulance, thinking he had caused my injury. He hadn't.

"Police were called, we think by the ambulance people. While outside they saw two cannabis plants and decided under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act they could search the house.

"I was taken away by ambulance and Tony was arrested. When they searched the house they came across my two snakes, preserved in jars."

The snakes were taken away by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

"When I got back from the hospital and saw they had taken them, I saw red. I bolted down to the police station to demand them back."

A spokeswoman for the ministry said the snakes had been taken away by quarantine staff at the request of the police.

"We estimate they are at least 60 years old. We're still assessing what to do with them."

Hoskyn said the snakes were harmless and wants police to return them.