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Beech Grove man gives up snakes in settlement over missing python

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — A Beech Grove man whose missing Burmese python, Vine, became famous on social media in May has given up his remaining snakes and promised the city he will not possess anymore while he lives in Beech Grove.

The 14-foot long snake had been missing for six days when Benny Tarplee reported it missing on May 23 after one of Tarplee’s friends accidentally left her crate open and it slithered out the back door of his home near the 400 block of Byland Drive.

Vine was missing for 10 days before it was found in Tarplee’s shed. 

According to Tarplee, the city took his DNR license and made him relinquish his snakes and sign an affidavit that he would not own snakes as long as he lived in Beech Grove. Because of that deal, he did not have to pay the $2,500 fine for violating a city ordinance involving “violent and vicious animals.”

Tarplee said he once had around 40 snakes but had been giving them away and owned three snakes at the time of the city’s decision. 

Tarplee said he was able to choose who received those three snakes.

He said the city had ruined his life and that he planned to move.