California Fish and Game officials patrol online waters for exotic-animal sales
PLEASANTON — A word of warning for Craigslist posters and social media aficionados hoping to hawk or show off their exotic species: California Fish and Game is watching.
In an effort to protect the state’s ecosystems, the agency’s game wardens routinely troll the waters of Craigslist and other social media for everything from Bengal tigers to ferrets.
“People call our headquarters and say, ‘I spotted this on Craigslist’ and say, ‘I thought this was illegal,’” said Patrick Foy, who has been with Fish and Game for the past 16 years, including the past six as a warden. “We might contact a seller and say we are interested and make the buy and then bust them like they do with drug dealers.”
Foy is one of 350 sworn game wardens and has encountered everything from a drug dealer’s pet tiger to a guy who posted a picture of himself on Facebook posing with his pet fox