Hundreds of Web sites sell exotic and dangerous animals as pets, testified James Rapp, director of Salisbury Zoological Park, before the House Judiciary Committee in Annapolis on Tuesday.
There’s a huge difference between domesticated animals and exotics, Rapp said.
Domestication takes a long time. When people get a wild animal … they get older and want to be around their kind. It might one moment be sitting peacefully, but the moment it becomes frightened it becomes aggressive, and you can’t predict what it’s going to do and that’s why they’re tricky. As result, too often, exotic pet owners end up dumping the animal in a zoo or humane society.
“The law is trying to take away that uneducated pet purchase … It’s unfortunate for the animal and there’s no network out there to handle all these animals displaced by people who weren’t smart shoppers,” Rapp said.
No decision was made Tuesday. The bill’s fate will be determined when the committee resumes session next year, he said.