Canadian animal welfare officers have rescued 40 distressed pythons from a motel room where they were being improperly held in plastic storage bins.
Police found the snakes, which ranged in length from 30cm to 137cm (1ft to 4-1/ft), in a motel in Brantford, a city about 6 miles south-west of Toronto.
A manager at the motel claimed the animals belonged to a couple who had checked into the room for one night and were out when police seized the animals on Thursday evening.
Pythons are not legal for home ownership in Brantford, according to the city's animal control bylaws.
"The snakes were not being suitably cared for and were in distress. The anxious officers called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who attended and took 40 pythons into their care," local police said in a statement.
The snakes are expected to be fine, they said. No one at the Brantford police or at the SPCA were available for comment.
Last week, two young boys in Eastern Canada died after a 13-foot (3.96-metre), 100-lb (45-kg) python apparently attacked them in their sleep. An autopsy confirmed the two died of asphyxiation.
Additional reporting by Associated PressReuse content