Maryland officials found a dead man and a collection of 124 live snakes, some venomous and illegal to keep, in his home during a welfare check this week.
The snakes were "meticulously cared for" in cages stacked throughout the Pomfret home, they said.
Out-of-state exotic animal experts removed the snakes Thursday, one day after deputies discovered the man dead during a check his neighbors requested, Charles County spokesperson Jennifer Harris said.
Among the snake were rattlesnakes, cobras, black mambas and a 14-foot-long Burmese python, Harris said.
“Nobody seemed to be aware that he was harboring snakes inside the home,” Harris said of the man, who has not been publicly identified.
The cause of the death will be released pending completion of an autopsy, but Harris stressed there are no indications of foul play or that any of the reptiles killed him.
“We don’t anticipate that there was any security issue with any of the snakes escaping," Harris said. "He was well-known by his neighbors in the community, but nobody had just basically ever been inside his home to know that this part of the home life was going on."
Harris said the Charles County chief of animal control told her that he had "never encountered anything quite like this situation that we saw today" and that typically, animal control officials encounter dangerous dogs, raccoons and coyotes — not snakes.