Boyle Fiscal Court may ban exotic animals as pets

March 08, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Don't trade your poodle for a sea snake or a komodo dragon yet. Better wait on the African buffalo, the hippopotamus and the old world badgers, at least for one more day.

Boyle Fiscal Court on Tuesday will consider an ordinance to ban exotic animals. If passed, Boyle would join at least 20 other counties with similar bans.

Don't think anyone would really want a venomous rear-fanged snake or a dog that's 50 percent wolf? Think again. There have been live baby cobras found in a UPS shipment in Louisville. Deadly Australian snakes loose in a basement. Yes, there have even been lions, tigers and, oh my, bears found in Kentucky backyards.

When a Georgetown man wanted to get a tiger to support the Cincinnati Bengals' summer training camp, the Kentucky Legislature got involved. Rep. Charlie Hoffman, D-Georgetown, sponsored a bill, now a law, that gives local governments the power to ban exotic animals.


The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates native animals. Exotic species are non-native, and so it falls to counties to decide whether they want to let people keep bears in their back yards, said Scott Porter, DFW's attorney.

Don't worry. Elephants will still be allowed when clowns and acrobats come to town. The Boyle ordinance allows exotic animals to travel with circuses, to be on display at zoos and researched by universities and government agencies.

However, locals who get caught with cheetahs, crocodiles or cuckoos would have the animals seized by the sheriff and be stuck with a $50-$500 fine.

Here are the exotic animals that would be banned in Boyle County:


* Baya weaver

* Blackbird

* Cape sparrow

* Cowbird

* Cuckoo

* Dioch or red-bellied quelea

* European blackbird

* Fieldfare

* Hawaiian rice bird or spotted munia

* Java sparrow

* Madagascar weaver

* Mistle thrush

* Monk or Quaker parakeet

* Mute swan

* Sky lark

* Song thrush

* Starlings, including pink starling or rosy pastor.


* Adders or vipers

* Alligators or caiman

* Cobras or coral snake

* Crocodile

* Gavial

* Gila monsters or bearded lizard

* Komodo dragon

* Sea snakes

* Venomous rear-fanged snake


* Giant or marine toad


* Africian buffalo

* Baboons, drills or mandrills

* Bears

* Cheetah

* Clouded leopard

* Cougar or mountain lion

* Elephant

* Fruit bat or flying fox

* Gambian giant-pouched rat

* Gelada baboon

* Gorillas

* Hippopotamus

* Hyenas, except aardwolves species

* Jack rabbit

* Lions, jaguars, leopards or tigers

* Multimammate rat

* Nutria

* Old world badger

* Prarie dog

* Raccoon dog

* Rhinoceroses

* San Juan rabbit

* Wolf or wolf hybrids or 25 percent of more

* Wolverine

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