Hundreds of snakes, many dead, found in California house
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 01:27
Jan. 29 - Hundreds of snakes and rodents were found in the home of a Southern California elementary school teacher after neighbors complained of a stench from the house, police said. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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Neighbors complained of a stench coming from a house in Santa Ana, California, but had no idea what was inside.
After combing through the squalid interior, police discovered hundreds of snakes and rodents. Many of them were dead.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) POLICE CORPORAL SONDRA BERG, SUPERVISOR FOR SANTA ANA POLICE ANIMAL SERVICES, SAYING:
"It's definitely a house of horrors in there, just in one room alone we had 56 dead snakes, and 12 alive, and that's only one room. And that took us nearly three hours to clear. Now we're working on the second room, but he told us this morning when he was taken into custody that he believes he still has 300-350 snakes, but I have a feeling that a majority of them will be dead."
A sixth grade teacher named William Buchman was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.
The largest live python recovered was about 6 feet long.
The house also was infested with rats and mice, which police say had been brought in as food for the snakes.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SONDRA BERG, SAYING:
"The majority of them are ball pythons, we haven't seen any snakes crawling loose in the house, the only concern that we really have is that there is an infestation of mice and rats in the house, so that's an issue that code enforcement is already on top of and they are already dealing with that."
Buchman claimed his intention was to breed the snakes. He said his collection grew out of hand and he was unable to properly care for the reptiles.
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