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Canada police find pythons in Ontario motel room bins

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Media captionAuthorities say the snakes were not properly housed

Canadian animal welfare officers have rescued 40 distressed pythons from plastic storage bins in a motel room.

The snakes, ranging from 30cm (one foot) to 137cm (four-and-a-half feet) long, belonged to guests, a manager at the motel in Brantford, Ontario, said.

The couple, who had checked into a room for one night, were out when police seized the animals on Thursday evening.

Pythons are not legal for home ownership in Brantford, according to the city's animal control by-laws.

Local police in Brantford, a city about 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Toronto, said the reptiles were in distress but they were expected to recover, Reuters news agency reports.

The snakes have been taken to an animal shelter, run by the Brant County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The SPCA said the animals would be examined by a veterinarian, the Toronto Star newspaper reports. Welfare officers will continue to investigate the case.

Last week, two young boys in the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick died after a 3.96-metre (13 foot), 45kg (100lb) African rock python apparently attacked them in their sleep.

A post-mortem examination confirmed that the two boys died of asphyxiation.

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