COPS in Toldeo uncovered a hoard of illegal snakes inside the home of a 31-year-old man after he was rushed to hospital with a snake bite.
The man, who spent a day in intensive care and had to be administered with an antidote, had called emergency services and told them he had been bitten by a rattlesnake while walking in a field.
But police rumbled the illegal animal owner when investigations revealed that the man was fond of collecting exotic animals on a farm in Val de Santo Domingo.
After obtaining a search permit, officers raided his home and found 45 poisonous and illegal snakes and 12 scorpions in terrariums.
More than 30 species of reptiles were recovered, including two green mambas, a king cobra and a boa constrictor, and the animals are now in the care of the zoological centre.
The man, who could not provide documentation that would prove the legitimate origin and authorisation for the possession of the reptiles, is now recovering and faces animal protection charges.