Police found a crocodile, over 200 snakes, and a dead man inside a Pennsylvania home. The snakes' owners could be charged up to $180,000.

·3 min read
a 3-foot-long crocodile in a small pond in a basement
The crocodile was a 3-foot-long dwarf caiman.Jim Bologna
  • Police found over 200 snakes and lizards and a dwarf crocodile inside a Pennsylvania home.

  • Officers were called to the home after a man was found unconscious — he died by the time they arrived.

  • The home's remaining three adult residents could be fined up to $180,000 in total for keeping venomous snakes.

Officials found a crocodile, over 200 snakes and lizards — many of them venomous — and a dead man inside a Pennsylvania home this week.

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On Tuesday afternoon, police got a call about an unconscious 23-year-old man at a home in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Police told local outlet ABC 4 that by the time they arrived, the man had already died.

But they also made another shocking discovery: hundreds of reptiles, including a 3-foot-long dwarf caiman crocodile, kept in cages throughout the residence.

The local code enforcement officer, Jim Bologna, was called to the house, where he says he spent over eight hours cataloging the animals and removing many of them.

Bologna told Insider that 60 or more of the snakes were extremely venomous, including two black mambas, a cobra, and a rattlesnake.

small green snakes in a cage
Hundreds of snakes were kept in cages throughout the home.Jim Bologna

Bologna said he's never seen anything like this before.

"It was a surprise. It was very different," Bologna told Insider. "I mean, I'm used to dealing with people having too many cats, too many dogs. And you know, we've had goats here in the city. We've had chickens here in the city that had to be removed. But never a crocodile. That's a new one for me."

Police have not revealed the man's cause of death. Bologna said that, according to the coroner, the man did have a snake bite, but that could not have caused his death because it was already scabbed over.

The home's residents had a business where they sold reptiles at reptile shows, Bologna said, who estimated that some of the snakes could sell for up to $2,000 each. The Beaver County Times reported that the four adult residents, including the dead man, and a 3-year-old child who also lived there, had recently moved to the area to do business.

According to Bologna, the home was extremely clean and safe, and the animals were all kept in a humane way, in well-maintained and properly labeled cages. He said the crocodile was kept in a small pond in the basement and had fresh, clean water.

a small crocodile with its jaws open
The crocodile was taken from the home to a local exotic pets store.Jim Bologna

But, because it's illegal to keep venomous reptiles within Aliquippa city limits, Bologna had to remove more than 60 of the snakes, as well as the crocodile. They were given to an exotic pet store in a neighboring town.

Each of the three residents of the home — not including the man who died or the child — could be charged up to $1,000 for each venomous reptile. That amounts to fines of up to $180,000 total for the residents.

The residents have been allowed to remain in the home with the non-venomous reptiles, according to the Beaver County Times.

Read the original article on Insider