Cyprus Mail

Police chief pledges to look into snake killing

The police chief has pledged to look into the killing of a snake in Paphos after being prompted by the environment commissioner on a social media post.

News of the incident emerged late on Thursday when Environment Commissioner Klelia Vasiliou re-posted on her Facebook account an image of a Paphos resident holding a dead viper on a piece of wood.

The initial picture was posted with the caption ‘Beware’ by the man who killed the snake. He has come across the snake while working in a rural area in the Paphos district on Thursday morning.

Suggesting the person wanted to show-off rather than warning people, Vasiliou said killing the snake was illegal and called on Police Chief, Kypros Michaelides to look into the case, saying it was a criminal offence under the nature conservation act.

“I have already asked the Chief of Police Kypros Michaelides to examine this and many other similar unacceptable reports that reach my office for appropriate action,” she said.

Michaelides commented on the post, thanking the environment commissioner for bringing the case to his attention. He said he was already investigating the killing of the viper, along with other similar cases.

The viper macrovipera lebetina species found on the island (called fina in Greek) is the only snake in Cyprus poisonous to humans and it is considered dangerous as it hits fast. However, the snake is not aggressive and does not attack unless being threatened. It can reach up to two metres length.

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