Savannah bans snakes from St. Patrick's Day event

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Savannah city leaders are banning the public display of snakes at the upcoming St. Patrick's Day festival.

The Savannah Morning News reports that pythons and other snakes have been part of the festivities in recent years, and the snake handlers are often mobbed by drunken revelers fascinated by the reptiles.

City officials and local reptile handlers say they're concerned about the potential danger.

Thaddaus Depper, a manager at Exotic Underworld pet store, says people under the influence of alcohol and potentially dangerous animals are a potentially dangerous mix.

Depper says he won't take out a python longer than 7 feet unless he has another employee standing by because of the risk of being encircled and crushed.