A newspaper said Saturday it bought three poisonous snakes from a Florida dealer and had them shipped to Michigan to show that anyone with a telephone and a credit card can buy the deadly creatures.

The Detroit Free Press said it paid $105 plus $31.92 in freight charges for two large rattlesnakes and an Asian pit viper.The animals were acquired from dealer Chris McQuade, who listed 51 poisonous species for sale in a July 1988 catalog.

The snakes arrived at Detroit Metropolitan Airport as freight on a passenger flight. Such animals cannot be mailed.

"If you're 21 and you live in an area where possession of the venomous animals is not restricted or prohibited, there is nothing that would prevent us from selling the animals to you," McQuade said.

McQuade's catalog lists an array of snakes including Egyptian cobras for $65 apiece and West African green mambas for $275 each.

"Fun for the whole family," the catalog says about the 5-foot West African spitting cobra, which ejects venom at his victims' eyes.

Detroit Zoo Director Steve Graham denounced trading in such exotic pets as "horrible."