Venomous snake owner rattled that authorities seized 157 reptiles from home

Posted: Updated:
NEWBURGH -

Dozens of venomous snakes were seized from a home in Orange County after a bite from one of them sent the owner to the hospital.

A total of 157 venomous snakes were found inside the basement of 82 Maple St. in Newburgh after an Asian pit viper bit its owner, Darren Paolini.

MORE: Officials: 157 snakes seized from Newburgh home after viper bite 

News 12 caught up with Paolini at his home on Wednesday after he was hospitalized overnight on Sunday and given five doses of anti-venom.

Department of Conservation officials say the incident was red-flagged by medical staff. By Tuesday, the reptiles, which are illegal to possess in New York state, were seized and taken to the Bronx Zoo.

“I've studied Asian pit vipers for the last 30 years of my life. It's been a passion of mine and I've become a world-renowned expert at what I do,” said Paolini.

Paolini wouldn't say what other kind of snakes he may have had. According to an online search, the Asian pit viper is considered one of the most toxic snakes in northern China.

Paolini claims he had permits for the reptiles in 2005 and thought he was grandfathered in after the law changed.

"It's just been a love in my life. A passion since a young child,” he says.

Paolini says he's hiring an attorney to try to get his snakes back. He says it wasn't the first time he was bitten and that 'he's fine.'

No charges have been filed against Paolini. The DEC says the incident is still under investigation.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."