ALBANY – So a great deal for hanging with your pet pachyderm.
Newly released legislation would formally ban New Yorkers from maintaining pets this sort of as elephants, hyenas, rhinoceroses and whales, just after many years of controversy surrounding a Prolonged Island business enterprise peddling sloths and kangaroos.
“Not only is this unethical, but it is a public-health and fitness and safety issue,” state Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Extensive Island), who is sponsoring the bill, told The Post about retaining wild animals at home.
“These animals have features which involve specific disorders and environment to endure. Now, some of these animals, this kind of as the purple kangaroo can expand as higher as 6 toes tall and weigh up to 200 lbs,” she said.
“A sloth is normally nocturnal, typically deaf and blind in brilliant daylight.”
The monthly bill however lacks an Assembly sponsor, even though Martinez insisted that the strategy has “strong support” among her colleagues.
State legislation at this time bans men and women from boosting “companion animals” these types of as lions, tigers, and grizzly bears while theoretically permitting the possession of other questionable animals.
These incorporate hyenas, rhinoceroses, elephants, kangaroos, whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, walruses, emus, ostriches, anteaters, and armadillos – all of which would get banned if the monthly bill passes the state Legislature and will get signed into regulation by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The proposed ban would not apply to zoos or animal sanctuaries.
There are couple of, if any, examples of New Yorkers adopting some of the species, but persons have raised eyebrows by getting various some others, to the surprise of their neighbors.
A kangaroo hopped close to Staten Island in 2015 immediately after escaping the identical house the place a pet zebra manufactured a split for it and finished up in visitors 3 a long time in advance of.
“When [the Health Department] initially acquired listed here, they questioned me about the whereabouts of the zebra,” the person informed The Submit at the time.
“And I told them, ‘I really do not have to inform you everything about the zebra. It’s just not right here.’ ”
Some wild animals can get violent when interacting with humans.
Emus violently pecked a drunken gentleman in England when they encountered him final calendar year soon after he jumped a fence into their animal sanctuary.
“The driver is throwing kung fu kicks and punches, and the emu is going its neck out of the way and jabbing him in the ribs and the head. It really need to have damage,” a witness said.
A Michigan lady also was little bit by a sloth at a pet retailer final thirty day period immediately after her dream of cuddling 1 of the gradual-shifting mammals turned into a bloody nightmare.
John Di Leonardo, an anthrozoologist and president of Humane Very long Island who supports the new legislation, stated it is no surprise that lousy items can come about when persons concentration on adorable factors these as furriness while overlooking evident dangers.
“These are solitary wild animals with 4-inch claws and sharp teeth, and they belong in the tropical rainforest,” Di Leonardo reported of sloths.
He expressed identical worries about New Yorkers who may be fantasizing about playing fetch with a hyena, saddling up an elephant for a trip about city or perhaps deploying a more compact creature this kind of as an anteater to patrol their kitchens.
“These are quite risky animals, and our traditional shelters are not geared up to treatment for these animals when persons comprehend how unsafe they are and how sick-equipped they are to treatment for these animals,” he extra.
But Sloth Encounters Lengthy Island in Suffolk County — state Sen. Martinez’s district — stays open up for organization in spite of yrs of efforts by community officials to near it down.
The organization only sells to people who can care for animals these as sloths, said owner Larry Walsach, who respectively retails the notoriously languid furballs and kangaroos for up to $7,000 and $5,000 every single.
“Good private possession signifies fantastic personal ownership, and if you meet the conditions to be a superior owner, why should not you do it?” he advised The Article on Tuesday, though pushing again at the proposed legislation that might conclude his trade in unique pets for excellent.
“It’s all bulls–t,” he additional, stressing sloths are “great pets.”
The state proposal arrives as New York Metropolis Council members are presently contemplating laws that would ban elephant captivity in the five boroughs, like at zoos.
Di Leonardo said the state’s laws is a good move to prevent disasters no issue how unlikely it may possibly feel that someone would convey animals into their homes that are not domesticated animals like cats and canine – these kinds of as, say, an elephant.
“The a lot more common sense animals we can get extra to this the better,” he said.
“Obviously, no 1 really should be holding a whale or a sea lion. I mean, these are intrinsically wild animals who experience tremendously and endanger the general public when they are stored in someone’s property,” he claimed.