Police found a four foot crocodile when they carried out a drugs raid on a house in Essex.

Officers discovered the spectacled caiman in the bedroom of a house in Westcliff-on-Sea along with 16 lives snakes, toads and spiders.

Police said the animals were in a very poor condition and the crocodile was in a tiny pen next to a bed.

Dangerous wild animals were among the snakes including a cobra and a Madagascan hognose snake.

The RSPCA was called in and specialist handlers removed the animals from the property.

Detective Inspector Steve Nelson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "The reptiles were held in very poor conditions and sadly a number had died. Those that survived are now in the care of the RSPCA.

"We are working together with the charity as part of their investigation into how these wild animals came to be in such conditions.

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"As officers we come across many different finds during our investigations and these are among the more unusual."

Police arrested a 36-year-old man from Basildon on suspicion of cannabis production, keeping a dangerous animal without a licence and animal cruelty offences. He was released on bail until 13 February.

Anyone with information should contact the Serious Organised Crime unit on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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(c) Sky News 2018: Crocodile and snakes found in Essex house by drugs raid police