A call from residents of an apartment building in Baltimore, Maryland, led to the discovery of 66 snakes in one apartment yesterday. CBS reports the snakes were all in cages, but some of them were very ill, covered with mites, with decaying rodents inside their bodies. Three had to be euthanized due to their condition. The snakes ranged in size from three to eight-feet-long. Animal Enforcement Officer Bob Lukiewski, stated, “Most of the cages were unsanitary, as a result of that we removed them for their safety.”
Baltimore laws state that you can only own a snake if you have a permit, and the snake must be under five-feet-long, so this escalated quickly into an official investigation. The confiscated snakes are now being cared for by BARCS, the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, who are unsure if or when they will be able to adopt them out, since they are part of an Animal Control investigation. They are tending to the sick ones, and keeping the healthy ones in a warm, safe environment. BARCS gave this update on the condition of the snakes on their Facebook page today, “We can’t say it enough–BARCS supporters are second-to-none! Thank you all so very much for your donations, offers of advice and love of animals.” BARCS usually takes in about 1,000 farm and exotics over the course of a year, and 63 in a 24-hour period would have overloaded their staff, without the help of their supporters.
The variety of snakes included ball pythons, reticulated pythons and boa constrictors. BARCS were offered advice from the public, including the National Aquarium, Eco Adventures and the Maryland Science Center. They also received monetary assistance and much needed donations of supplies from the local Walmart and Amazon, including materials to design hiding places for the snakes. If you would like to donate to their care, please click on this link.