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Old 09-13-04, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
Nicki's Avatar
Join Date: Apr-2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 189
According to this article, they are at the zoo while they decide what to do with them. And it appeared that she took great care of the animals, too. It just looks like a REALLY sad accident.

THE POST (Cincinnati, Ohio) 13 September 04 Woman bitten by pet viper dies
North College Hill police enlisted the help of Cincinnati zookeepers Saturday to retrieve 23 reptiles, including 10 venomous snakes, from the home of a woman who died after being bitten by her pet viper.
Alexandria N. Hall, 44, was bitten by her Urutu pit viper on or about Sept. 6 while she was cleaning its cage, police said. She died Saturday at University Hospital.
Hall initially was treated at Mercy Hospital Fairfield and later was transferred to University Hospital, police said. Police could not say if she was bitten on Sept. 6.
Three herpetologists from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden accompanied North College Hill police into the home at 1830 Emerson Ave. to help secure and remove the reptiles.
When police forced their way into the home, they found several large lizards, who had apparently escaped from cages, wandering throughout the house, said Winston Card, the zoo's conservation program manager for reptiles, amphibians and aquatics.
The venomous snakes, fortunately, were secured in plastic cages throughout the house.
Card said it took nearly three hours to comb the house for the animals. Among the reptiles found was a western diamondback rattlesnake, which is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, along with a viper hybrid, two cobras, six lizards and two alligators.
"She was extremely obsessed with her animals," Card said. "It wasn't as if this woman was abusing these animals. She was taking very good care of them."
Still, Card said, it is no excuse for keeping deadly reptiles in a suburban home, endangering the lives of neighbors, strangers and the emergency personnel who had to enter the home.
"Your dogs may bite you, but it's probably not going to kill you," he said. "Venomous snakes, on the other hand -- there's a possibility you aren't going to survive it."
According to the non-profit national animal advocacy group, Animal Protection Institute, based in California, more than 7,000 venomous snakebites are reported annually in the United States, 15 of which result in death. It is not known how many of these incidents were the result of keeping the snakes as pets.
The recovered reptiles are being held at the zoo and will be examined in the next few days. After a 90-day quarantine, they will either be placed with other zoos in the country or remain at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Card said placing the creatures could be difficult because none of them are particularly rare.
He said putting them back into their natural habitats is not an option because it appears that most of them were born in captivity and therefore would not survive in the wild.
While many cities, including North College Hill, have ordinances against keeping dangerous animals, Card said it is common.
The Animal Protection Institute reports, for example, that between 6,000 and 7,000 tigers are privately and illegally owned in the United States.
"You put your neighbors at risk," he said. "These things are not pets."
A house of snakes
Of the 23 reptiles found Saturday in the North College Hill home of Alexandria N. Hall, 10 were venomous:
 Shield-nosed cobra;
 Monacle cobra;
 Western diamondback rattlesnake;
 Two Urutu pit vipers;
 Rhino viper;
 Gaboon viper
 Rhino viper/gaboon viper hybrid;
 Canebrake rattlesnake.
The 13 non-venomous reptiles found in the home were:
 Two western hognosed snakes;
 Rhino iguana;
 Green iguana;
 Solomon Islands skink;
 Two spectacled caimans;
 Two black and white tegu lizards;
 Red tegu lizard;
 Two savannah monitor lizards;
 Black throat monitor lizard.
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