Do Your Research If You Want An Exotic Pet

Eric Bortz studied animal science and conservation in college and has worked in zoos to help care for small animals before joining the Park Ridge Animal Hospital last year. He really loves all animals, but has a fascination for exotic pets.

This 25 year old Fair Lawn man was recently bitten by his cobra and remains is critical condition at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx of New York.

The police department said Bortz had several scorpions, a tarantula, and several other snakes when he purchased three snakes, a Copperhead, a Timber Rattlesnake, and an Albino Monocled Cobra. He bought the cobra from a Pennsylvania dealer who told him the cobra had underwent a procedure to render it harmless, but this information was incorrect.

The fact is in New Jersey, it is illegal to own Copperheads, Rattlesnakes, and Cobras. The Division of Fish and Wildlife have made certain guidelines regarding the sale and possession of these and other exotic animals in the state.

Who knows why Eric had these exotics in his apartment or what he planned to do with all of them. It needs to be mentioned that there can be health risks involved with keeping exotics as pets. Parents are discouraged from exposing their small children to reptiles, lizards, turtles, and non-venomous snakes because of the risk of salmonella.

Around 11 percent of salmonella cases in children can be traced to contact with these non-traditional pets. Adults can be at risk as well. Even the well loved rabbit can have tularemia, which is a virulent disease. The Journal of Internal Medicine reports that about 800 people have been sick with this disease since 2000.

If you decide you want an exotic pet, do extensive research on the animal and find a reputable dealer, with recommendations, to ensure you are getting a healthy animal.

Submitted by Melissa Sutton

cobra snake Do Your Research If You Want An Exotic Pet

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