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Friends start fundraiser to benefit family of Lehigh man killed by 18-foot snake

Friends of the Lehigh County man killed by an 18-foot snake in his home have launched a fundraiser to help his family.

Elliott Senseman, 27, of Upper Macungie Township died Sunday at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, four days after the snake — one of several he cared for in his home — wrapped itself around his neck and strangled him. Police had to fatally shoot the snake to make it loose its grip.

A GoFundMe for Senseman’s family had raised a little more than $4,000 Thursday morning. The organizers set a $30,000 goal to pay for his funeral, estimated to cost $24,000, and other expenses.

The obituary included on the page said Senseman — his full name was Elliott Zachary Allen Lyons Weinstein Senseman — had a range of passions that included woodworking and sculpting and, above all, environmental science, which he wanted to harness in the fight against world hunger.

On her Facebook page, Senseman’s mother, Heather Lyons, said her son was an organ donor whose kidneys and lungs were taken for transplants. So was his remaining cornea. Senseman lost an eye in a woodworking accident last year.

Family members said Senseman, an accomplished handler who had been working with reptiles for years, had been cleaning cages when the snake, described as a boa constrictor-type, attacked him. He was discovered by his grandmother and was in cardiac arrest by the time police arrived.

His mother said he raised snakes and also rescued them from people who mistreated or could no longer care for them.

Senseman wasn’t political, but he was “dedicated to global human rights and welfare,” his obituary says.

“He wanted to learn as much as he wanted to teach, never feeling like he knew enough. Passionate is a word that many people would use to describe Elliott, but even that falls short to the energy that emanated out of him.”

Source: Berkshire mont

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