Hundreds of Dead Snakes Found in Calif. Home

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A California elementary school teacher was taken into custody Wednesday on animal cruelty charges after police discovered hundreds of dead ball pythons in his home, according to the Los Angeles Times. Only a few live snakes were recovered from the property.

The neighbors of William Buchman, 53, had complained about the rancid smell emanating from his house in Santa Ana, Calif., for the past several months. In addition to the stench, they noticed that Buchman had become increasingly reclusive after the recent death of his mother.

The Times reported that Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna was standing about 200 to 300 feet away from Buchman's home as officers were executing their search warrant, but that the odor of decay was still noticeable.

Bertagna told the Times the smell was like "death."

The front four rooms of the home were packed floor to ceiling with snake cages, KNBC reports. The residence was also infested with mice and rats.

All surviving snakes rescued from Buchman's house have been transported to a local veterinary hospital, where they'll be treated and put up for adoption. The animal cruelty case against Buchman is pending.

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