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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 22, 2003 at 19:47:04:
DAILY ECHO (Dorset, UK) 22 March 03 Police seize poisonous rattlesnakes (Harry Walton)
Two poisonous rattlesnakes have been seized in a police raid on a Dorset house.
The Western Diamondback snakes are highly dangerous because, if a victim survives, the bite can turn flesh black, skin falls off and flesh can be exposed to the bone.
Other snakes and spiders found on site were not confiscated but their welfare is being monitored by the RSPCA.
Detectives from Weymouth joined forces with other agencies for the raid codenamed Operation Python.
They raided a house in the Cerne Abbas area following a tip-off left on the Crimestoppers telephone hotline.
A special warrant was used and the rattlesnakes, which are believed to be a male and a female, were seized under the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act and taken to London for safekeeping.
A computer found at the property was also seized by police and is being examined by officers.
A local man in his 20s from the Cerne Abbas area is helping police with their inquiries.
He has not been arrested.
PC Emma Hawkes-Grey, of the Weymouth-based Combined Crime Unit, said: "The success of Operation Python is down to all the agencies involved and an example of just how effective the free and anonymous Crimestoppers phone line is and why people should use it."
The Crimestoppers number is 0800 555 111.