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Italy: Hungry python was cocaine guard

Italian police seized a rare albino python in Rome yesterday in a raid on a group of drug traffickers who used the snake to guard cocaine and intimidate customers who owed them money.

The 10-ft reptile attacked police when they burst into the dealers' apartment. "When we went in, we found the animal right behind the door waiting for us, just like a proper guard dog," said Lieutenant Luca Gelormino. "We were surprised to find 200 grams of very pure cocaine under the snake."

The animal had been starved for a week to make it aggressive, but it calmed down after it was given a helping of chicken.