A California man was arrested Thursday after a search of his property uncovered dozens of highly dangerous snakes, alligators and reptiles.
More than 80 animals were taken from the Thousand Oaks home of Todd Kates, with most of them being "very dangerous and highly regulated species of reptiles,” Fox 11 quoted officials as saying.
“We have monocled cobras, many types of rattlesnakes, spitting cobras, a king cobra, Gila monsters, gaboon vipers, puff adders, Mexican bearded lizards and Egyptian cobras,” Marcia Mayeda of the LA County Animal Care and Control told the station.
The property also contained eight alligators housed in a pool covered by netting. Authorities were tipped off to the home after a cobra was spotted slithering through a neighbor’s property eight weeks ago. That snake was ran over by a car.
"It appears that, despite the multiple levels of permits, approvals, and periodic inspections required, the permit holder was housing deadly venomous snakes in an unauthorized, densely populated, residential neighborhood, and in such a manner that they posed a substantial risk to public safety," read a news release from the Department of Animal Care and Control.
Kates, 55, was booked on 16 felony counts of animal cruelty and is being held in Ventura County jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing jail records.