Deadly Snakes, Alligators Discovered in Reptile Bust

Eloi Lecerf
Julho 7, 2017

Los Angeles County officials served search warrants Thursday at the home of Todd Kates, 55, in Thousand Oaks as well as a rural property just outside the city.

A neighbor alerted authorities after a cobra escaped the house and was found slithering across the property of the adjacent house.

A neighborhood in Thousand Oaks, California has quite the history with deadly snakes being let loose.

According to a statement from DACC, it's not yet known whether criminal charges will be filed.

Dozens of "very unsafe and highly regulated" reptiles, including deadly snakes and alligators, were found in Thousand Oaks and Ventura County Thursday morning.

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Don Barre, a spokesperson for Animal Care and Control, said eight weeks ago the next door neighbor had spotted a cobra entering his property. Authorities say the owners have permits but they appear to be in violation of animal-keeping rules. A neighbor promptly ran over the snake, killing it.

In 2014, a venomous white cobra was captured several days after it bit a dog and was seen wandering through the neighborhood. Officials said the owner kept at least 80 other venomous snakes in his collection, along with tortoises, exotic birds and eight American alligators.

'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, ' the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control said.

The San Diego Zoo was later asked to take the cobra because it is one of two zoological facilities in the country with the proper anti-venom for the species, officials said.

She urged anyone who observed a snake in the area to dial 911.

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