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N.Y. authorities find 850 snakes inside man’s home

N.Y. authorities find 850 snakes inside man’s home

In this photo provided by the Town of Brookhaven, Public Information Office in Brookhaven, N.Y., Michael Ralbovsky, center, who is the General Curator and Herpetologist at the Rainforest Reptile Show, displays one of two Burmese Pythons from a home in Shirley, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. Richard Parinello, a Long Island Animal Control Officer, had 850 snakes housed in two garages at the site. Authorities say that he ran an illegal side business selling the animals from his home. Photo: Associated Press

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Authorities in the New York town of Shirley found 850 snakes, including two illegal 6-foot-long (2-meter) Burmese pythons, in the home and garage of an animal control officer suspected of dealing in the reptiles, local media reported.

Shirley and Suffolk County officers raided the home on Thursday, Newsday of Long Island reported, citing town officials and publishing a photo of officers holding the pythons.

Suffolk County police referred all queries to the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), whose officers were not immediately available for comment.

The suspect, an animal control officer in the neighboring town of Brookhaven, was cooperating with investigators and faces multiple charges of owning the pythons and operating a business without a permit, Newsday said.

The pythons will be sent to an animal sanctuary, Newsday said, citing Roy Gross of the Suffolk County SPCA. What would happen to the other snakes remained unknown.

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