38 snakes seized from North York home


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Image: @TorontoComms/Twitter

Nearly 40 venomous snakes were found in the home of a North York resident, which were promptly removed by City of Toronto staff last month.

The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing & Standards seized 20 live and 18 dead snakes from the North York home on Jan. 3. The venomous snakes included vipers, puff adders, cobras and rattlesnakes.

They are considered extremely dangerous, and it is illegal to keep snakes of this type in Toronto.

The confiscated snakes are currently in the custody of Toronto Animal Services, but there may still be a few snakes on the loose.

“Based on the search warrant, not all of the snakes were accounted for,” said Tammy Robbinson, of City of Toronto Strategic Communications. “Toronto Animal Services is investigating further on the location of the ones that remain unaccounted for.”

According to the warrant issued, there were 53 snakes in total. With 38 seized, that leaves 15 unaccounted for.

The city learned about the presence of the snakes from information provided by the Canada Border Services Agency, which had noted that a number of venomous snakes were imported from Asia by the

North York address. There are no federal or provincial laws prohibiting these snakes’ entry into Canada; however, it is illegal to keep snakes in Toronto if they are venomous or will reach an adult length of more than three metres.

The person possessing the snakes has been charged with 20 counts of keeping prohibited animals, with each offence carrying a maximum fine of $5,000. The individual was scheduled to make a first court appearance on Jan. 27 after which more details will be made available to the public.

The city is asking residents to assist in identifying any other homes that might be housing prohibited animals by calling 311.

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