A man was charged after deputies said they found deadly venomous snakes in a Jackson County home he shared with his mother and a child.
Sheriff Janis Mangum told Channel 2 Action News that deputies went to the home to check on a report of possible drug activity, but instead found two Gaboon vipers, which are illegal to own without a permit.
Gregory Alan Frederick, 28, faces several charges, including possession of wild animals without a permit, reckless conduct and ownership and custody of wildlife, according to arrest warrants obtained by AJC.com.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources seized the reptiles.
Pictures taken by the DNR showed a crib next to a compartment holding at least one of the vipers.
The Division of Family and Children Services was also notified, Mangum said.
The Gaboon viper, native to sub-Saharan Africa, has the longest fangs and the highest venom yield of any snake.
Mangum said the snakes were extremely unsafe to have in a home.
“Just because you have them in a container doesn't mean they can't get out,” she told Channel 2.
The snakes are being held by Southeastern Reptile Rescue, a private business in Spalding County that has a permit to hold the vipers, DNR Capt. Mike England said.
England, a game warden with the investigative unit, said Zoo Atlanta and Southeastern Reptile Rescue are the only locations in Georgia that are permitted to hold this type of animal.
Once the case involving the snakes is closed, the reptiles can be transferred out of state to another facility.
Investigators urged anyone with information about a possible wild animal violation to contact the DNR’s Ranger Hotline.