A 36-year-old UK man who kept a crocodile and 23 snakes in his bedroom has been jailed for six months.
Police found 7o exotic creatures on the premises Lee Thompson was renting in Westcliff-on-Sea when they arrested him in January this year.
Nicknamed “Snake” because of his distinctive tattoos, he claimed they were pets and that he had no intention of selling them.
Thompson had been on the police radar since 2015 when a similar hoard of creatures was discovered at another address. But he managed to evade arrest until January.
The creatures in his two menageries included the croc, rattlesnakes, pythons, a cobra, spiders, a bullfrog, a lizard, a snappy turtle and a fat-tailed scorpion.
In both cases when the police raided the premises they found the “the pets” were being shockingly neglected.
“Thompson kept wild animals in appalling conditions, ultimately causing 17 to die,” the police said. “Not only did he keep them without a licence he showed no care for their well-being or survival.”
Besides the fatalities, many had to be referred to the RSPCA for special care the police said.
‘Snake” was convicted in September of keeping dangerous animals, causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals and for keeping a dangerous animal without a licence and last week sentenced to six months in jail.