BAYPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Law enforcement officials are being trained to come face-to-face with snakes, alligators and other dangerous reptiles in Suffolk County.
Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said the training is crucial, given the spike of reptiles turning up on Long Island, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
In fact, it’s the reason Friday’s training featured an alligator.
“We had one on the expressway…just trotting along the Long Island Expressway,” Gross said.
One officer was bitten during Friday’s training session — in front of the entire class.
“I picked up the snake…it just turned around, and got me,” he said.
Luckily, it wasn’t one of the venomous reptiles.
Michael Ralbovsky of Rainforest Reptile shows told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes that the techniques that the officers learned on Friday could prevent similar bites in the future.
“We’re teaching officers techniques that they can use in the field t capture these animals so they don’t get hurt and the public doesn’t get hurt,” Ralbovsky said.
Last month, animal welfare crews rescued a 2-foot alligator from a home in Miller Place.
The owner had missed the reptile amnesty event held last month at a Petco store in Selden, Gross said.
In September, more than 800 snakes including a pair of illegal 6-foot Burmese pythons were found at a home in Shirley. A boa constrictor was recently picked up in a residential section of Mastic Beach.
The Suffolk County SPCA warned that anybody who sees an illegal reptile should avoid it and call authorities as soon as possible.
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