Forty pythons that were discovered in a Brantford, Ont., motel, have been seized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Police found the snakes in five plastic storage bins at the Bell City Motel on Colborne Street in Brantford, which is located about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto.
"Early [Thursday] evening, the Brantford police called us to come out and assist with a large number of snakes they had found," said Brandon James, spokesman for the Brant County SPCA. "When we arrived, we found very overcrowded conditions with approximately 40 snakes."
James said he had "never seen a load of snakes this large in Brant County and I've been doing this for 10 years."
The biggest python was estimated to be 1.3 metres long. There were snakes of various sizes including some that were less than a foot long. There was also about half a dozen unhatched eggs in the bins.
The pythons were discovered Thursday night by police as part of a separate investigation.
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The snakes were in distress because of the cramped conditions and lack of water, James said.
"I don't know how long they were in those tote containers for, but it's very stressful for the snakes."
James said it appeared the snakes had recently been fed.
Baby in the room
The snakes belonged to a local couple who stayed at the room for only one night, a manager at the motel told The Canadian Press. The couple were out Thursday evening when police arrived, said the manager, who asked that his name not be used.
Paul Sizer, a guest in a neighbouring room at the motel, told CBC News that the couple had five young children with them, including a baby.
"The first night I was afraid of [the snakes] getting out and coming after me," he said.
The pythons were in the care of the Brant County SPCA Friday and transported to a reptile facility somewhere in Ontario in the early evening. James would would not say where they were going.
It is illegal to own a python in Brantford.
The discovery comes after two boys were killed by an African rock python in New Brunswick earlier this month.
Also Thursday night, animal control officers in Hamilton recovered a four-foot-long ball python in bushes in the city's east end. It was the second ball python found abandoned in the city in a week.