Forty ball pythons found in a Canadian motel room were suffering from dehydration and overcrowding, an animal investigator says.
Police in Brantford, Ontario, seized the snakes Thursday evening at the Bell City Motel, the Brantford Expositor reported. They were housed for the night at the Brant County Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals.
Brandon James said the pythons were being shipped to shelters elsewhere because the Brant County facility is unable to care for that many snakes.
James was brought in when police found the snakes. He said they were in four containers.
"We popped the lids of the containers and saw a mass of snake," he said. "They were all entangled. They were in distress because of the overcrowding."
The owner of the snakes wasn't reported but James said the non-venemous reptiles appeared to have been properly cared for until recently but were also dehydrated.
Ball pythons, which grow up to 3 feet, 9 inches long, are popular as pets because of their small size -- by python standards -- and their docile temperament. But Brantford's animal control ordinances ban all private ownership of pythons.
Earlier this month, two young brothers were killed in Campbellton, New Brunswick, by an African rock python, one of the world's largest snakes. They were in an apartment above a pet store, and the snake apparently escaped.