Turn In Your Lions and Tigers and Bears - NBC Connecticut

Turn In Your Lions and Tigers and Bears

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    Got one of these at your house? At some point she'll grow out of your garden apartment. Let's find her a nice new home, huh?

    Got a jaguar in your garage (not the car, an actual four-legged jaguar)?  Perhaps a grizzly in the basement?  Yeah, you probably shouldn't.  And the state's Exotic Animal Amnesty Day is designed especially for you!

    On July 25, you can drop off your mauling machine -- sorry, your beloved behemoth -- at the Beardsley Zoo, no questions asked.

    The state does have a ban on owning certain animals as pets.  Even if someone wants to turn over a dangerous pet that they legally own, the zoo and the Department of Environmental Protection are ready to receive and take care of them.

    The DEP's Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation said they don't want the animals just left out in the wild because they can have "an adverse impact on Connecticut's native plants and animal populations".  Not to mention the human population.

    In mid-February, a 200-pound celebrity chimp attacked and nearly killed Charla Nash outside a Stamford home.  Owning a chimpanzee is not a crime, but the state is considering expanding the list of wild animals that can not be kept as pets.

    So what animals are currently on the list? 

    Those in the felidae, canidae and ursidae species.  For those without a high school biology book, that includes lions, leopards, jaguars, wolves, coyotes, black, brown and grizzly bears.

    If you've got one, you can drop it off at the zoo between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on July 25 -- but they must be in a secure carrier.  And please give us a heads up, because we'd love to be there to watch.

    Sorry, but domestic pets, like cats and dogs, will not be accepted.