08/09/2013 11:55 EDT | Updated 10/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Man Whose Daughter Mauled By Tiger Shocked By Python Deaths

A man who was instrumental in changing B.C.’s exotic species laws after his daughter was eaten by a tiger in 2007 says he was shocked to hear two boys in New Brunswick had been killed by a python earlier this week.

Noah Barthe, 4, and his brother Connor, 6, were killed after an African python escaped its enclosure in Campellton, N.B. Preliminary autopsy results show they died from asphyxiation.

“I was shocked. All my experiences came to mind and I looked at how could that happen? And why?” said Leon Dumstrey-Soos.

“Do we really need the death of a person to change attitudes and politics and the legal procedures?”

His daughter Tanya Dumstrey-Soos, 32, was petting her boyfriend’s Siberian Tiger in 100 Mile House in May 2007 when the animal mauled her in front of her two young children.

Leon Dumstrey-Soos subsequently lobbied to change B.C.’s exotic species laws, leading the province to pass legislation that puts restrictions on owning, exhibiting and breeding exotic animals.

Dumstrey-Soos, who spoke to The Early Edition guest host Chris Walker from his home in Kitimat, says laws can’t keep people safe if attitudes don’t change.

“The people are evidently [saying there’s] too much legislation, they are upset about it,” he said.

“The legislation is not going to help if they not willing to participate on the issue. That’s my problem. We suffered an immense loss in this grisly occurrence.”

Dumstrey-Soos says his grandson, who witnessed his mother’s death, still struggles with the incident.

“This is a very sensitive thing,” Dumstrey-Soos said. “We do not discuss it very much because my grandson who experienced this close engagement – he has his moments. That’s what I can tell you.”

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