ELLENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - As the popularity of having an exotic animal as a pet is on the rise, so too are concerns. Wildlife expert Justin Matthews says owning an exotic pet isn’t something that should be taken lightly and it can turn into a very dangerous situation.
“Educate yourself really good and when you want an exotic animal that you know what you’re doing when you get it," said Matthews, Founder of Matthews Wildlife Rescue. "That way you’re not going to get hurt, you’re going to be able to bond with that animal”
Matthews says there have also been issues of exotic pet owners eventually releasing their pet into the wild. Many of these pets such as alligators, iguanas, some snakes and a long list of other animals do require a permit.
“You’ve got to prove that you have experience, you’ve got to take a test and then you have to buy that permit" said Matthews. "So you do have to prove that you have knowledge, not with everything but with some of them.”
Matthews went on to say it’s important for exotic pet owners to follow all the rules. Otherwise, these pet owners can face some hefty penalties from the FWC.
For more information on Matthews Wildlife Rescue you can log onto https://www.matthewswildliferescue.org/.