40 pythons found in Brantford, Ont., motel 0
One of 40 pythons found at a Brantford, Ont., motel. Brian Thompson/QMI Agency
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Police found 40 pythons in plastic storage bins in a motel room Thursday.
The snakes, which are ball pythons, weren't properly cared for and were in distress, police said.
The anxious officers called the SPCA to the Bell City Motel at 901 Colborne St., and the agency took the animals into its care.
“We popped the lids of the containers and saw a mass of snake,” animal cruelty investigator Brandon James said. “They were all entangled. They were in distress because of the overcrowding.”
Ball pythons are a non-venomous species native to Africa that range in size from about one foot to 4 1/2 feet. The species is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, due largely to its typically docile temperament.
It's illegal to own a python in this city southwest of Toronto. Nonetheless, there is a big market for mature ball snakes, and it is likely someone was gathering them for sale, James said.
Safety concerns about snakes made headlines earlier this month after an African rock python killed two young boys in their sleep in Campbellton, N.B.
James -- holding one of the larger rescued pythons for a group of reporters on Friday -- said the tragedy has created a lot of nervousness about snakes but that it was probably an isolated incident.
“There is fear it may happen again. There is no reason to believe that it would happen with these smaller snakes, but I don't know them well.
“These snakes are well handled, but I'm sure situations could arise when they can be dangerous.”
James said the rescued pythons were seen by a veterinarian and all are in fairly good health. They were separated into individual bins and given water. They were being transferred Friday evening to a “network that deals with reptiles.”
“They are a banned animal in Brantford and we can't adopt them out. We don't have the facilities to house them long term,” he said.
Police say the investigation is still underway and no charges have been laid at this time.