Utah snake collector ordered to give up boas

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 28, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (AP) — A Utah man has been ordered by police to get rid of all but one of his 29 exotic boa constrictor snakes because he doesn’t have an exotic pet permit.

Thomas Cobb of Cottonwood Heights is distraught over the police mandate. He said he has spent $100,000 amassing the collection, buying cages and building a special 300-square foot room in his basement, the Deseret News reported.

Cobb, who grew up catching snakes, said he his distraught that he will have to give up the snakes.

“It’s caused me to cry five times today,” Cobb told the Deseret News. “You don’t take someone’s passion when they’re doing it right. You don’t go to Arnold Palmer and bust his best club. You don’t go to a surgeon and take his scalpel and stereoscope. I do it right, and it’s very unfair.”

His trouble began last week when a neighbor spotted one of the snakes and called police.Continue Reading

Cottonwood Heights police discovered 29 boa constrictor snakes in a special room in the basement of the house, said Sgt. Dan Bartlett. Fifteen of them are 5-foot long and the other half are 4-foot long. Police also found 80 rats for feeding the snakes, Bartlett said.

Cobb’s special room was clean and the snakes well cared for, but city ordinance only allows one snake per person unless a person has an exotic pet permit, Bartlett said. Police issued Cobb a ticket for failing to have a license and gave Cobb seven days to relocate the snakes.

Cobb said not having a permit was simply an oversight. He doesn’t know what he’ll do with the snakes, which he said cost $12,000 each.

“These are not your run-of-the-mill, go to a pet store (snakes), these are the best of the best,” Cobb told the Deseret News.

Cobb has a degree in biochemistry with an emphasis in genetics and mutation. He said his snakes all have special genetic mutations. He lives in a house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Cottonwood Heights.

He said there’s no way the snakes would ever escape from special cages that cost $30,000. He feels he’s being unfairly treated by police.

“It’s my entire passion, it’s my hobby. It’s where I go when I have the craziest day at work to breathe,” Cobb said. “It’s pulling the ventilator off of someone you love. It’s my dream ever since I was a kid.”

Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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