Russia may ban tigers, crocodiles as pets

Crocodiles, tigers and penguins may soon disappear from Russian homes if the parliament clears a bill that bans "exotic" animals from being kept as pets.

A bill on animal care that is pending with the parliament may include a list of animals that are "inadvisable to keep at home", chairman of the lower house's natural resources committee, Yevgeny Tugolukov, said.

The list includes "exotic animals" such as tigers, snakes, crocodiles and monkeys that are popular with Russians, but that can carry dangerous diseases.

The bill was submitted to the State Duma on Monday. Russia is a nation of pet lovers. Even Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has all sorts of animals as pets.

A Siberian tiger cub, Mashenka, was given on Putin's 56th birthday two years ago, while a labrador named Connie was given to him in 2001 when he was president.
The former KGB agent also has a Persian gazelle, a crocodile, a cat, two poodles and a she-goat and her offspring.

Putin was recently gifted a puppy by his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borisov. The Bulgarian Karakachan puppy was given after the two countries signed a gas deal in Sofia.

Indo-Asian News Service
Moscow, November 23, 2010

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