MONTREAL, Quebec - Two young Canadian brothers who earlier this week were killed by a python that had escaped from its quarters were buried in the same small coffin Saturday.
Connor and Noah Barthe, aged six and four respectively, were laid to rest in a service attended by around 100 people.
They were found dead on Monday in an apartment above a pet shop in the eastern town of Campbellton, in New Brunswick province.
The funeral took place at the town's Saint Thomas Acquinas church.
"It is a moment of extreme suffering, but there should not be anger or accusations at this time," said military chaplain Maurice Frenette.
The boys had been enjoying a sleepover with a friend, the young son of Jean-Claude Savoie, whose private menagerie of exotic animals included an African rock python.
The initial police investigation found that the python probably managed to escape from its terrarium in Savoie's apartment by nosing through a ventilation duct in the ceiling and dropping into the boys' bedroom nearby.
The boys' mother decided that given that they had been inseparable in life they should be buried in the same coffin.
Nadine Poirier, a family friend described Connor as a very protective brother who loved animals, and Noah as a boy who had dreamed of becoming a basketball player.
"The vigil certainly helped a lot of people, the people were able to talk," Ian Comeau, deputy mayor of Campbellton, told CBC television.
"But it is a somber moment," he said.
Animal experts expressed astonishment at the tragedy, many of them noting that, while an African rock python is a dangerous animal capable killing large prey, it would not normally attack humans.