40 pythons seized from motel in southern Ontario
Published Friday, August 16, 2013 3:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 16, 2013 8:33PM EDT
Forty pythons have been seized from a motel in southern Ontario after police discovered the animals in plastic storage bins.
The pythons, which were between one and four-and-a-half feet, were removed from a Bell City Motel room in Brantford, Ont. on Thursday. They are now in the care of the Brant County SPCA.
Police said in a statement the snakes were in distress and not being properly cared for.
The “anxious” officers who attended the scene called the SPCA, and the agency removed the pythons.
Brantford Police said there were children in the motel room with the snakes.
A guest in a neighbouring room told The Canadian Press Friday the residents had five young children in the room.
The guest, who didn’t want his name published, said one of the children was a baby.
A motel manager told The Canadian Press Friday that the snakes belonged to a local couple who had been evicted by their landlord.
The couple had stayed only one night at the motel and was not there when the police arrived Thursday evening, the manager said.
Brantford police would not specify ages of the children.
It is illegal to own a python in Brantford. Police and the SPCA are investigating, but no charges had been laid as of Friday night.
Brant County SPCA inspector Brandon James told CTV News Channel Friday the seized snakes are doing fine, now that they have been separated into their own containers.
“I don’t have any information as far as how they ended up there, I just know that the conditions that they were found in were not adequate for their requirements so at that point they were removed,” he said.
James said the snakes were being transported Friday to a reptile expert in Ontario.
The unusual discovery at the motel comes less than two weeks after two young brothers were strangled to death in New Brunswick by an African rock python.
On Aug. 5, a 15-foot python that was being kept in an apartment above a pet store in Campbellton, escaped its enclosure and made its way into the living room where the brothers, ages 4 and 6, were sleeping while visiting with a friend.
The New Brunswick government said the pet store owner did not have the required permit to house the python, nor several other exotic animals – including tortoises and crocodiles -- that were being kept in the pet store.
In light of the tragedy, animal welfare groups have called for stricter provincial regulations when it comes to exotic pets.
With files from The Canadian Press