In what sounds like one of this week's odder headlines, officials say that five pythons have been found over the past month near a particular New York state business. Officers are asking for the public's help for information on how these snakes ended up in this one exact area.

Could this be another case of the illegal pet trade? After all, how did this species of snake end up this far north?

See Also: New York State Officials Seize Large Python From Home

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, pythons are not native to New York state. They are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia, though many python species have found their way to the United States thanks to their popularity in the pet trade.

Snakes in a Car Wash? 

WIVB says that five pythons have been found in and around a car wash in the own of Amherst, NY over the past month. SPCA officials were called last week to rescue a pastel clown ball python that was found in a PVC pipe near the business, according to WIVB.

Another snake was found in the same area on August 15, according to the SPCA

What makes this a bigger mystery is that two other pythons were found dead near the same car wash over the past month, while another one found in the same area is in private care, according to WIVB.

Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are native to the western and central parts of Africa, where they live in grasslands, shrublands, and open forests. They are a nonvenomous constrictor and are the smallest of the African pythons, growing to a maximum length of around six feet.

Are Snakes Like These Legal to Own in New York State? 

The species earned its name due to its tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. The New York State DEC says that it is illegal to keep any kind of python as a pet in New York and they may only be possessed by holders of a Dangerous Animal License

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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