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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 11-15-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
Snake-bitten Eastsider loses his deadly pets

Conservation officers served a warrant on an Eastside home Monday night and confiscated more than a dozen venomous snakes after their owner sought treatment for a bite from a deadly green mamba.

The owner of the snakes, Michael Fillenwarth, was taken into custody, but later released, said Sgt. Dean Shadley, an Indiana Conservation Officer.
Fillenwart did not have the proper permits to keep the snakes, which Shadley described as "extremely poisonous."
Officers confiscated rattlesnakes, cobras and green mambas from the home in the 1600 block of North Bosart Avenue.
Authorities learned of the snakes after Fillenwarth sought treatment over the weekend for a bite from a green mamba, a highly venomous snake from Africa.
Shadley said officers also found quail in cages, which were being used as food for the snakes.
Shadley said investigators plan to present information to the Marion County prosecutor that could lead to criminal charges in the case.

Read tomorrow's Indianapolis Star for more details about this story.
Old 11-15-2006, 12:07 AM   #2
Confiscated Venomous Snakes En Route To Reptile Zoo


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More than a dozen illegal poisonous snakes are on their way to a Kentucky zoo after being confiscated from a house on the city's east side.

The snakes were dangerous and one reptile expert said they were in the worse condition he's seen in a confiscation. He said malnutrition could make them weaker but abuse could make them more violent.

The investigation was prompted after the owner was bit by one of his snakes and hospitalized.

Cobras, Vipers and rattle snakes were all caged and confiscated.

24-Hour News 8 first brought you the investigation that lead to 47-year-old Michael Fillenwarth arrested for housing 15 illegal poisonous snakes.

Jason Wooldridge had no idea they were next door, "I hope they don't get out period. Someone that has them should no what they're doing."

Reptile experts from Kentucky examined, took pictures and bagged up the venomous snakes noting most were mistreated. One even had broken ribs.

"With these animals they're in such bad condition I don't know if they could even cause a serious bite. It's like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun, eventually something is going to go wrong," Jim Harrison with the Kentucky Reptile Zoo said.

They took in several species of rattle snakes and even a Gaboon viper that has cardio venom. Even survive the bite you could end up with permanent heart damage.

Fillenwarth didn't have a permit meaning it's not down on paper he knows how to recapture them and neighbors weren't notified. News 8 checked and no one in Marion County has a permit.

"Not a single person in Marion County," Conservation officer. Angela Goldman said.

News 8 asked Goldman if there could be more like this.

"Absolutely this is a perfect case of what is out there that we don't know about," Goldman said.

"Just in case they got out I want to be able to help or make sure my kids are inside or know what to look for," Wooldridge said.

Fillenwarth is out of jail, partly because of the medication he's on for his recent snake bite and because he's not believed to be a threat.

The snakes will remain at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo pending his court date.
Old 11-15-2006, 05:14 AM   #3
Whoever is responsible for preparing the transcript for Wish-TV should be slapped, as should the person that said (or prompted her to say)poisonous snakes.
Aside from that, wtf is cardio venom??? Is that anything like cardio kickboxing?
Old 11-15-2006, 09:09 AM   #4
That's exactly what I was thinking? Cardio venom?! Wow,.....sounds nasty. LOL! IDIOTS!

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