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Published: Sun, July 09, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Alligators, dozens of unsafe snakes seized from California home

Alligators, dozens of unsafe snakes seized from California home

Local media reports intimated that authorities from an animal care and control center served court orders at two areas in a California neighborhood, where Kates was found in custody of dozens of extremely perilous and controlled types of reptiles.

The permit holder was "housing deadly venomous snakes in an unauthorized, densely populated, residential neighborhood, and in such a manner that they posed a substantial risk to public safety", Barre said.

The owners have permits to possess risky and highly regulated reptiles, but they appeared to be in violation of the rules, authorities said. A cobra has escaped from this same house and terrified neighbors twice in the last three years, according to officials.

The second location, a rural property in unincorporated Ventura County, near Thousand Oaks, is connected to the first location, Barre said.

Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said they arrested Kates after searching the property and recovering around 84 snakes. The neighbor responded by driving a vehicle over the snake, killing it, said Don Barre, a spokeswoman for the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.

Elsewhere on the property a nest of snakes, some venomous, were found, Barre said. The snake was eventually captured and put on display at the San Diego Zoo.

They said that 80 snakes, including monocled and spitting cobras and rattlesnakes, were seized at Kates" home, while 20 "highly venomous' snakes were taken from the second location.

Authorities say Kates has permits but he appears to be in violation of animal-keeping rules.

It was not immediately known whether criminal charges would be filed or how many of each species would be found.

Hours after the warrants were served, authorities remained at the both scenes as they continued to collect animals and evidence.

One snake - a red-bellied black snake - possibly got out and is believed to be on the loose after it was spotted by a neighbor, according to Mayeda.

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