A man was found dead in his Maryland home Wednesday evening surrounded by more than 100 venomous and non-venomous snakes — including a 14-foot Burmese python, investigators said Thursday.
The Charles County Sheriff's Department said authorities responded to the home in Pomfret after receiving a call from a neighbor who said he went to check on the resident and found him unconscious on the floor. EMS personnel arrived and found a 49-year-old man dead on the floor, officials said.
Also inside the house, more than 100 "venomous and non-venomous snakes of different varieties were discovered in tanks situated on racks," officials said. Jennifer Harris, a spokesperson for Charles County Animal Control, told WRC-TV the breeds included pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas.
Harris told CBS affiliate WUSA-TV the team "tagged and bagged" at least 125 snakes.
Harris said the man, who officials have not identified, apparently lived alone and his neighbors were unaware he had snakes in his home. It's illegal to possess venomous snakes in Maryland.
"I do want to assure the community, [and] anybody living in this neighborhood, we have not seen that any of the snakes were not properly secured or could have escaped," she told WUSA. "I know people were worried that there could be some danger to people living nearby, but at this point, we have not uncovered or determined that any of the snakes actually were not secured after this gentleman's death."
Harris also said this was the biggest collection of snakes the county's animal control chief, Ed Tucker, had ever encountered in his more than 30 years of experience.
Animal control called for assistance from other reptile experts in Virginia and North Carolina and they were continuing to bag snakes on Thursday. They said the largest snake found in the house was a 14-foot Burmese python.
Charles County Sheriff's detectives are conducting an investigation into the man's death. There were no obvious signs of foul play, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore will conduct an autopsy, the sheriff's department said.
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