VILLAGE OF ALLEGANY, N.Y. - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and The Buffalo Zoo were called to a home in Cattaraugus County Thursday.
A DEC spokesman tells 2 On Your Side the total of confiscated reptiles was more than 300. The vast majority were protected or endangered turtles including spotted turtles, snapping turtles, blanding turtles, box turtles, wood turtles, bog turtles and painted turtles.
But there were also venous reptiles recovered including 3 king cobras and a half-dozen gila monsters.
The DEC believes all the reptiles were unlawfully held. To own rare, dangerous or protected animals in New York State, a permit is required.
The investigation is still on-going and authorities say the public is not in any danger. The owner or owners of the vast reptile collection have not been identified.
DEC gave 2 On Your Side the following statement:
"DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) are executing a search warrant today at a private residence in the town of Allegany in Cattaraugus County. The matter remains under investigation and details will be made available in the coming days."
2 On Your Side also reached out to the Buffalo Zoo and they gave us the following statement:
"We were asked to participate and are co-operating w/ the DEC for an incident in the Town of Allegany. We cannot comment further due to the fact that this is an active criminal investigation."
We will update this story when we receive more information.