Agree or Disagree: There should be a ban on owning exotic pets

About a year ago, I was sitting outside at a coffee shop with a group of people.  It was a writer’s group I was a part of.  During the mist of the discussion, there was an interruption.

A man was walking out of his van with and wrapped around his neck was a extremely large gold snake. If it was a python, or boa constrictor, I don’t remember. I do remember that my heart went to my gut.

The gentleman placed the snake on the ground, as his wife sat down on the table watching over this snake. I turned back to my group moving on to the discussion at hand. I made it pretty clear to the group that snakes aren’t exactly my thing. That I was getting the “creepys”.

It was a little while later when suddenly, someone said ” Kevin, don’t turn around”

Well, of course I turned around, only to find that this large… gold… snake…thing was staring at me. 

Now, while I was getting the “creepy crawly’s” and wanted to run for my life, others were quite fascinated by this thing. They took pictures, tried to touch it, talked to the owners. It turns out, they owned not 1, not 2, but 3 of these things. This one was the only one they were feeling comfortable bringing out to public. The others were a bit more dangerous. 

Obviously, there is a fascination and an interest by some who owns these types of animals. That is why pet stores like Reptile Ocean sells them.

This leads to a question. Particularly as two young boys were aged 7 and 5 were strangled to death by an illegally owned African rock python  in Campbellton New Brunswick. The owner of this snake owns the Reptile Ocean exotic pet shop. The 14 foot python apparently escaped and strangled the boys in their sleep.

According to National Geographic, the African rock python have a very nasty reputation. They are extremely dangerous and cannot be easily tamed. They eat mammals, antelopes , warthogs, herons and other animals and anything else they can swallow.  Although some snakes are, experts would not considered these good pets.

Considering all of that, I’m not sure why one would have this as a pet. But, many own snakes and other exotic animals.

Personally, I would never own a snake or an exotic animal. I love animals, except snakes, but I would not own one of these. So, perhaps there is some bias from my perspective. I’m sure many of these exotic pet owners are responsible and careful as well as trained. I also think some aren’t and are trying to be “cool”.

Do you think there should be a ban on owning or selling exotic animals?


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