The two young boys, aged five and seven, were sleeping in at a friend’s apartment late Sunday in the small town of Campbellton when they were surprised by the snake.
It had escaped from a pet store that specialized in exotic animals located on the ground floor of the building.
“The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a large exotic snake had escaped its enclosure at the store sometime overnight, and got into the ventilation system, then into the upstairs apartment,” police said in a statement.
“It’s believed the two boys were strangled by the snake.”
The python had been recaptured and was being held by police, the statement added.