North Carolina Animal Bites Curbed with Seizure of Snakes

A man in Henderson County has been forced to surrender his $50,000 collection of exotic reptiles – including poisonous snakes – in a move authorities hope will reduce the risk of animal bites in North Carolina.

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Our Asheville animal bite attorneys applaud the actions of authorities, as this was clearly a serious injury waiting to happen.

The 51-year-old man was reported to have kept several dozen poisonous snakes and lizards in his mobile home.

It’s unclear how long the man had the snakes stashed, but law enforcement didn’t find out about it until the man was bitten by one of his own snakes and rushed to the hospital. That prompted an investigation by police, who found the reptiles packed into plastic containers throughout the man’s residence.

His attorney told The Associated Press that the animals – which included Gila monsters and vipers – weren’t a threat because they were stored safely inside his dwelling.

Law enforcement disagreed, and the animals were confiscated.

This case is especially troublesome when considering that North Carolina residents are more likely than anyone else in the country to be bitten by snakes. In fact, snake bites in this state are ranked at five times the national average, according to Chapter 14, Article 55, which clearly governs the possession of venomous reptiles, like the one owned by the Henderson County man. In his case, he was convicted of charges including possession of dangerous animals and failure to properly label containers of venomous snakes – both misdemeanors.

The snakes were sent to the state’s museum of natural sciences in Raleigh.

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by an exotic reptile or other animal in Asheville or anywhere in North Carolina, it’s critical that you immediately contact an experienced attorney.

The personal injury attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. are an experienced team of attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of animal bite victims in North Carolina and South Carolina. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog-bite accident or other animal-bite accident, call to discuss your rights at a free and confidential appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

North Carolina #1 for snake bites, By Tom Roussey, WBTV

NC has few regulations for keeping exotic animals, By Laura Leslie, WRAL

NC man loses $49k collection of poison snakes, Associated Press

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