Alligators and venomous snakes seized at a home near Thousand Oaks
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (FOX 11) - Several alligators and venomous snakes were seized Thursday at a home in Thousand Oaks and at a nearby rural property, authorities said.
Officials with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) served search warrants at two locations, a residence in Thousands Oaks and a rural property in unincorporated Ventura County, after learning a Restricted Species Permit holder may have been in violation of the conditions of the permit, authorities said.
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Officials found the permit holder had dozens of "very dangerous and highly regulated species of reptiles."
Overall, 80 exotic animals were collected from the home in the Conjejo Valley. Most of them were snakes that were described as highly dangerous and venomous.
Marcia Mayeda works with the LA County Animal Care and Control. “We have monocled cobras, many types of rattlesnakes, spitting cobras, a king cobra, gila monsters, gaboon vipers, puff adders, Mexican bearded lizards and Egyptian cobras .”
The LA Zoo helped to catch and identify the snakes that were housed in sheds spotted from the air by SkyFOX. There were also Mexican beaded lizards and about 8 alligators - housed in a pool covered in netting.
A criminal investigation began after a cobra was spotted in a residential neighborhood twice in three years, leading to Thursday's search warrants.
"It appears that, despite the multiple levels of permits, approvals, and periodic inspections required, 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," a news release stated.
By Thursday afternoon, at least 50 reptiles were counted.
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