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Snakes returned to NC owner

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WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — An alligator seized from a pet store in Waynesville will have a new home, as will four snakes if they’re confirmed to be Eastern diamondbacks, an endangered species.

The Asheville-Citizen Times reported that most of the nearly 100 snakes seized from Green Desert Reptiles in Waynesville were returned to the owner, Allen Rivera, who paid $300 in fines.

He pleaded guilty to violating a county ordinance. Haywood County prohibits the possession of venomous snakes. The snakes returned to Rivera include exotic vipers, cobras, boa constrictors and pythons.

Rivera runs an Internet-based reptile sales business and took the animals to a business he owns in South Carolina. He could not be reached for comment.

The alligator and the four snakes were taken Thursday to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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An alligator seized from a pet store in Waynesville will have a new home, as will four snakes if they’re confirmed to be Eastern diamondbacks, an endangered species.

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