Around 350 snakes found in California teacher’s home
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Police discovered around 350 pythons, many of which were dead, at a California home while executing a search warrant Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Register.
Police and animal control officers had been investigating the home of 53-year-old elementary school teacher Bill Buchman since neighbors complained of a bad odor.
“The smell is ungodly,” Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the Orange County Register.
Buchman was reportedly trying to breed various color and pattern combinations with the snakes, according to Sondra Berg, animal services supervisor with the Santa Ana Police Department.
“When the market was high, they could be worth about $1,500, but now that the market is so saturated with theses snakes, [they] only go for about $200,” Berg said.
The home was reportedly covered in rat feces and trash, along with trash bags piled up in the backyard.
Berg said the hoarding began when Buchman’s mother died in 2011, adding that the traumatic event likely escalated a mental disorder.
Neighbors began noticing the smell about six months ago. Buchman was described by neighbors as a nice man who became reclusive after his mother died.
Removal of the snakes from the home started shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, using black plastic garbage bags to remove the decaying remains.
Because of the number of animals involved, authorities will ask prosecutors to seek jail time for Buchman.
Source: Orange County Register