A 13-foot boa constrictor wrapped itself around its owner's neck and killed the man in his home, authorities said.
An acquaintance found Ted Dres, 48, inside the snake's cage Saturday and called police, the Hamilton County Sheriff's office said.
The snake was still strangling Dres when deputies arrived, and the officers had to work with members of an animal protection group to remove the reptile, the sheriff's office said.
Dres' snake will be kept at an animal shelter awaiting instructions from police or Dres' family, said Andy Mahlman, spokesman for the Cincinnati Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"People who keep these type of animals as pets should know exactly what they're doing and what they're capable of," Mahlman said.
He said he has seen photographs of reptile owners posing with snakes coiled around their necks.
"They don't realize they could be a few seconds away from death," he said.