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Reptile Rampage

Summer of pestilence? Killer bees, killer shark — now, killer snakes removed from Heights home

Heights snake
This is just one of the 15 snakes collected at a home in the Heights.  Courtesy of KHOU

First, killer bees in Katy. Then, a killer shark headed to the Texas Gulf Coast. And now snakes in the Heights.

And it's not even officially summer yet.

On Wednesday, authorities seized more than a dozen dangerous pythons and boa constrictors — some up to 20-feet long — inside a small pink house in the Houston Heights. It all started more than 15 years ago when the owner said she was convinced by her then-boyfriend that breeding the reptiles would be a good source of an income, authorities told KHOU Ch. 11 News.

 Although the boa constrictors and pythons are not in the best condition, authorities were thankful that the seizure was not the result of a tragedy. 

Her collection quickly grew, numerically and physically, to the point where the 10- to 20-foot snakes were crowded in one bedroom of her home.

“The animals were in bad shape,” Harris County constable Alan Rosen told the TV station. “One of them has a broken back that she has to actually put around her stomach in order for the snake to use the restroom properly.”

A number of the snakes are suffering from oral infections, prohibiting them from eating properly and consequently resulting in malnourished reptiles. Snakes of their kind generally eat live rabbits, but in this case, it is still unknown how the Heights native fed her feisty friends.

Despite the abuse, “the owner’s visibly upset,” Rosen said. “She’s trying everything she could to take care of these animals, but clearly she’s not able to.” The possibility of her facing criminal charges is unlikely due to the fact that none of the mistreatment was deliberate, Rosen added.

Although the boa constrictors and pythons are not in the best condition, authorities were thankful that the seizure was not the result of a tragedy. Some of the snakes are poisonous and are capable of injuring or even killing humans. In fact, upon removal, one of the cans carrying a snake was deemed so dangerous that authorities refused to open the lid for news photographers.

See the Channel 11 report here:

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