New legislation has been introduced to make it illegal for New Yorkers to keep exotic animals, following years of controversy over a Long Island business trading sloths and kangaroos.
The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Long Island Senator Monica Martinez, told The Post that owning exotic pets is “not only unethical but a general population and safety problem.”
Due to their specific characteristics, these animals can only thrive in a limited range of environments. She remarked, “These animals are getting bigger and bigger; the red kangaroo, for instance, may now reach a height of 6 feet and a weight of 200 pounds. Sloths are nocturnal animals that have low daytime vision and hearing.
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However, despite Martinez’s claim that the initiative has “substantial support” in the Assembly, no one has come forward to sponsor it.
While it is legal to own other types of pets in the state, it is against the law to own a “companion animal,” such as a lion, tiger, or brown bear.
If the bill passes the legislature and is signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, it would ban the ownership of hyenas, rhinos, elephants, kangaroos, dolphins, whales, seals, marine mammals, narwhals, emus, ostriches, armadillos, and capybaras.
The proposed ban would make an exception for zoos and animal shelters. Some animals are almost never adopted as pets in New York City, but a few curious locals have managed to bring in a few of the others.
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In 2015, a kangaroo was seen hopping around Staten Island; the previous year, a zebra had escaped from the same house and wandered into traffic.
According to the man’s statement to The Post, he was initially questioned by “the Health Department” about the whereabouts of the zebra. And I said, “I don’t have to tell anyone about the zebra. Not there; that’s not the spot.'”
They Can’t Find Adequate Housing Or Safety
When people learn how dangerous and sick they are to look for these animals, he said, “These are incredibly hazardous creatures, and our conventional shelters are not suited to care for these creatures.”
Suffolk County officials, which include state Sen. Martinez’s district, have been trying for years to get Operations Encounters Long Island shut down, but to no avail.
On Tuesday, he told The Post that he is fighting a bill that could put an end to his trade of exotic pets forever, saying, “Good private ownership implies nice private possession, and if you match the qualifications to be a decent owner, why shouldn’t you do it?”
It is timely that this proposal comes at the same time as one in New York City that would ban keeping elephants in captivity, including in zoos. He remarked, “The more common sense creatures we can get included in this, the better.”
Having a whale or sea lion as a pet is obviously unacceptable. Because of their natural wildness, he said, keeping these animals as pets is extremely stressful for the animals and dangerous for the general public.
They Will Flourish There, In Their Natural Environment
Some animals in the wild can be dangerous if provoked. Last year, a drunk Englishman scaled the fence of an emu sanctuary and was severely pecked by the inmates.
The emu ducks its neck to avoid the driver’s kung fu punches and kicks, and then stabs him in the chest and forehead.
Last month, a young girl from Michigan was bitten by a sloth, turning her pet store fantasy of cuddling one of the slow animals into a horrific reality.
John Di Leonardo, president of Humane Long Island and an anthropologist, has argued in favor of the new legislation that it is not surprising that terrible incidents may occur when people place more importance on superficial characteristics like furriness than on obvious dangers.
Di Leonardo claims that sloths are solitary, wild animals with 4-inch nails and vicious teeth that thrive in the tropical rainforest alone.
He also expressed concern for Urban Dwellers who fantasized about having a friendly exchange with a hyena, riding an elephant through the city, or even keeping an anteater in the kitchen.
Di Leonardo just said that the state’s ordinance is a good move to prevent catastrophes in the unlikely event that someone were to bring an elephant into their home.