2007_05_python.jpgThat alert about reptiles on the Gothamist Newsmap yesterday? It turns out that many reptiles and other kinds of animals - snakes, frogs, tarantulas, and even little alligators - were found by the FDNY at a basement apartment in Queens.

While the fire was contained, firefighters were "startled" to realize that a python (one that was as wide as a human thigh) was on the loose. A firefighter told the Post, "It felt like something out of a science-fiction scene. It looked like a biology lab. The whole room was in cages." Emergency services captured the python using a neck snare; a neighbor said, "You never know if one night the snake could get out. We feel very happy that they came to get them. We have babies here, it isn't safe. We never would have thought that animals like that are here." The owner, Tony Baez, was issued a summons for having illegal pets (check out the health code).

Though there were no humans victims, there was an animal death toll: The Sun reported, "Two cobras, an alligator, and several tarantulas and black widow spiders died of smoke inhalation." The python and surviving alligator are at Social Tees Animal Rescue in the East Village. Social Tees animal rescuer Keith Kafader posed with the python in the News and with the python and alligator in the Post - that python is HUGE. The animals will probably go to Florida once they are healthy