King cobras, endangered turtles seized from NY homeowner

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(NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)

A 71-year-old western New York man faces multiple charges including the illegal sale of wildlife after state environmental officials seized hundreds of turtles and three king cobras from his home.

William Engelder of Allegany in Cattaraugus County was charged with reckless endangerment, illegal possession of venomous reptiles and numerous other offenses, the Department of Environmental Conservation said.

The reptiles, which were seized last August, included 17 endangered bog turtles and 184 spotted turtles, a species of special concern. Dozens of turtle eggs were also seized. It is illegal to possess reptiles that are native to New York state.

It could not be determined if Engelder has a lawyer to comment.