124 snakes found with body of dead man in Maryland home
At least 124 snakes and a dead man were found inside his home in Charles County, Maryland by police officials.
The snakes, some of which were identified to be venomous, were kept inside cages when police reached the man’s home at around 6pm on Wednesday, the Charles County sheriff’s office said.
A neighbour who had not seen the 49-year-old man for a day had gone to his home in Raphael Drive in the county’s Pomfret area.
The neighbour spotted the man through a window lying on the floor unconscious after which he called 911 for help.
Officials said the man was pronounced dead, with the cause of death yet to be determined by a medical examiner. No obvious signs of foul play have been found yet, officials said.
“Inside the house, more than 100 venomous and non-venomous snakes of different varieties were discovered in tanks situated on racks,” the sheriff’s office said.
The snakes included pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas, according to officials.
Charles County spokesperson Jennifer Harris said the large snake collection was being examined by animal control officials.
She added that the chief animal control officer had not encountered an incident like this in more than 30 years of experience.
The man’s death is also being probed by police.
“Charles County Animal Control is coordinating rescue efforts relating to the reptiles with assistance from reptile experts from North Carolina and Virginia,” Ms Harris was quoted as saying by reported NBC Washington.
She added that the snakes, illegal to keep in Maryland, were all properly secured.
“They were racked. He did not keep a lot of furniture inside the home, so there was no place if a snake, for example, were to escape, where it could hide or harm anybody,” Ms Harris said.
The snakes do not pose a risk to the public, the report added, as if they try to escape, they would not be able to survive the cold weather.