By Anastasia Tomazhenkova: An ugly surprise was waiting for a Swedish landlord in a recently vacated cottage. She found dozens of dead or ailing snakes, mice, rats and lizards locked up in cages inside the house.
Animal protection official claimed that authorities had started an investigation into animal abuse after the gruesome discovery last week in Gnesta, in central Sweden.
The landlord found 90 snakes, three lizards and 60 mice and rats inside the cottage. All the lizards and rodents were dead, as were 17 of the snakes, which appeared to be pythons. The remaining snakes, were suffering from dehydration.
The reptiles have been there since October without water. The lizards and the snakes were very dried up.
It was not immediately clear who had left the animals inside the cottage. A couple that had lived in the building were among the possible suspects. It was not immediately clear whether anyone had been arrested.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan