Ten days after an escaped 14-foot python killed two young Canadian brothers as they slept, authorities have seized 40 of the snakes at a motel in southern Ontario.
The constrictors, which ranged in length from 1 foot to 4.5 feet, were found Thursday in plastic storage bins and "were not being suitably cared for and were in distress," the Brantford Police Service said in a news release Friday.
The "anxious officers" who responded to the motel called the Brant County SPCA, which took the snakes into custody. Police did not say whether the owner was questioned or cited.
A veterinarian examined the pythons and said they are expected to be "fine," police said. The species - Burmese or African - was not identified.
The SPCA said Friday afternoon that a news release about the incident was being prepared.
It is illegal to own a python in Brantford, located 65 miles southwest of Toronto.
Late Aug. 4 or early Aug. 5, a 100-pound African rock python escaped from its enclosure and asphyxiated 4-year-old Noah Barthe and 6-year-old Connor Barthe during a sleepover in an apartment above an exotic pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick.
The python, which was kept in a floor-to-ceiling glass cage in the apartment upstairs from Reptile Ocean, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through the ceiling into the livingroom where the boys were sleeping. The owner's son was in another room and not harmed.
The python was captured and later euthanized. A necropsy found the snake to have been in good health.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police opened a criminal investigation, which continues.
Authorities said the store owner may not have been licensed to keep the African rock python, which is banned in the province.