Police Raid Shows Why Exotic Animals Aren't Pets
It began with a call to the police.
"Someone had stated they had possibly seen some kangaroos," Gregory Musser, animal control supervisor with the St. Joseph county sheriff's department in Mottville Township, Michigan, told news outlet WSBT.
Whoever made the report probably saw something like this.
The photo shows the animal staring out the window as a dog or a cat might, but this is no domesticated pet. He's also not a kangaroo, as was initially reported to the police. The animal in the photo is, in fact, a rare marsupial known as an albino wallaby.
He was one of 20 different species being held captive by a couple in a residential home.
The town's residents told authorities that the couple had once owned an exotic pet store and, when the store closed, they brought the animals home to live with them.
Several wallabees, flying squirrels and a monkey were among the many exotic species being kept in the home.
The animals were found in fairly good medical condition, albeit in dirty surroundings. "Upon entry, it was a very horrific scene," Musser told WSBT. "The smells were unbearable."
Some animals remain at the house while animal control searches for new homes for them. Authorities have been working with Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan, to relocate the animals. Though not ideal, it is often the only viable option for the police put in charge of relocating exotic animals rescued from non-native habitats.
Born Free U.S.A. reminds people that exotic animals belong in the wild, for the sake of animals and humans:
Exotic animals do not make good companions. They require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot provide. When in the hands of private individuals the animals suffer due to poor care. They also pose safety and health risks to their possessors and any person coming into contact with them.
Now, the couple is facing felony charges for animal cruelty and owning exotic animals without a permit.
Watch the full report from WSBT below.