By Michele C. Hollow
When will people learn? I live in NJ, and just read about a young man in my state who owned a cobra, rattlesnake, and viper. What is he nuts?
Personally, I like snakes. I find their patterns and colorings to be quite beautiful. I have a healthy admiration of them. I handled my first snake when I was a teenager; I studied zoology at the Bronx Zoological Society. I grew up in the Bronx and I joined a program called the Friends of the Zoo. It was a wonderful program. I got to study animals, and I often got hands-on experience with all sorts of creatures–from sparrow hawks and lion cubs to boa constrictors. I loved handling the boa constrictor so much that I tried to convince my parents of getting me one. Just imagine me walking with a boa wrapped around my neck. I would always get a seat on the subway.
Well, we looked into it, and decided it wasn’t the best idea. I believe that some animals should not be pets–especially if they are wild.
So this bozo–in my home state–who lived with a viper, rattlesnake and cobra was badly bitten by the cobra. According to my friends at Born Free USA, “the snake bite that sent a Fair Lawn, NJ, man to the hospital in critical condition is just one of thousands of unnecessary occurrences between wild and exotic animals and humans. Every year, captive wild animals kept as private pets are involved in incidents that result in human injury or death. Millions of reptiles–snakes and lizards–in private possession pose severe safety risks to humans, including the transmission of deadly diseases, strangulations, and bites. Snakes are the most common pet reptiles–about 3 percent of U.S. households possess 7.3 million pet reptiles.”
According to Will Travers, Born Free CEO, “By their very nature, exotic animals are dangerous creatures. This New Jersey man kept three snakes as pets, not only putting his own life at risk, but that of his family and community. Given the life these animals are forced to endure as pets, it is no surprise that they exhibit their natural instincts to the detriment of their owner and the public at large.”
Born Free USA tracks the number of animal attacks in the USA on its website. Travers want people to know that “Wild animals in captivity are ticking time bombs when it comes to public safety. They should not be confined. They deserve better than that.”
Have you ever owned an exotic pet? If so, can you please tell us what type of pet you had/have, and why.