updated 9/16/2004 4:01:52 PM ET 2004-09-16T20:01:52

Zookeepers helped police search for venomous and exotic pets in a house where a woman was fatally bitten by a viper.

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Alexandria Hall, 44, was bitten in her home Monday and died at a hospital Saturday, police said.

Neighbors knew she had pets, including rabbits and birds, but were unaware of her collection of at least nine poisonous snakes and more than one dozen other snakes, lizards and alligators until police went to the suburban North College Hill house.

Police believe an urutu pit viper bit the woman Monday, and neighbors said she drove herself to a hospital. She was transferred to University Hospital, where she remained in critical condition until her death Saturday evening.

“We have no idea how she made it to the hospital in the first place,” said North College Hill police Sgt. Robert Kidd.

Reptile specialists from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens searched the house with an ambulance waiting outside in case a venomous snake attacked.

They found more than a half-dozen large lizards running around an upstairs bedroom. The venomous snakes were in secure plastic cases throughout the house, police and zoo officials said. Non-venomous animals were found under boxes and piles of clothes.

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