RALEIGH –Supporters of a proposed exotic animal ban dropped pythons and boas from the bill after intense lobbying from reptile collectors across the state.
The revised bill would ban the private ownership of wolves, lions, tigers, bears, apes, monkeys and five other animals deemed “inherently dangerous.”
Exemptions would include circuses, university research labs and zoos accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
The central aims of the bill remain intact — eliminating the threat of “backyard” tigers and preventing North Carolina from becoming a haven for exotic pet owners fleeing states that already ban or regulate such animals. .
Critics of the bill say it goes too far. “This bill needs to be gone,” said Dora Turner, owner of Noah’s Landing, a small, nonprofit zoo in Harnett County. “All we need to control is big cats and bears.”