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Deadly and diseased snakes seized

UPI News Service, 10/29/2007 

A 19-year-old Australian woman has been charged with keeping a highly venomous death adder, a python and a sick boa constrictor at her home.

The Melbourne woman could be fined heavily for keeping the death adder and the olive python, both native to Australia, without a permit, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. She faces stiffer penalties -- a larger fine and up to two years in prison -- for the boa constrictor, which is native to South America and banned from Australia.

Drew Wilson of the Environment Department said the boa had symptoms of Inclusion Body Disease. He said all three snakes would be euthanized.

"If it gets into our native python population it could decimate the population quite easily," Wilson said. "It's highly contagious and incurable."

The death adder is ranked as the ninth most dangerous venomous snake.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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