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Nearly 3 dozen venomous snakes seized from Boise home

"We were more than a bit surprised by what we discovered," said conservation officer Charlie Justus.
Credit: IDFG
A hog-nosed pit viper

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Boise Police Department officers seized nearly three dozen venomous snakes from a Boise home after lengthy investigation.

Some were Great Basin rattlesnakes, a species native to Idaho, but many others were exotic species from Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

Officers made the discovery after serving a search warrant in Boise on Sept. 5.

"We were more than a bit surprised by what we discovered," said Fish and Game regional conservation officer Charlie Justus.

Among the snakes seized were an Indian cobra, an Indochina spitting cobra, a flat-nosed pit viper, two Vogel's pit vipers, two Cape coral cobras, two hog-nosed pit vipers, a green bush viper, a zebra spitting cobra, two monocled cobras and a massasauga rattlesnake.

Charges are pending against the 25-year-old man.

Exotic reptiles and amphibians are regulated by Idaho Fish and Game. Some cases need both and import permit and  a health certificate from a veterinarian. 

"If you can purchase a specimen at the local pet store, no permit is needed," Justus said. "If you are looking to purchase a specimen online or from an out of state retailer, it's best to ask IDFG first." 

Wild-caught specimens from other states need both a permit and certificate prior to being brought to Idaho. 

Authorities say in this case, the suspect did not have any documentation for any of the snakes in his possession.

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