Noblesville neighbors were understandably on edge after learning that a resident’s 8-foot boa constrictor went missing on Labor Day near an elementary school. The local police, county sheriff’s office and animal control were out searching for the snake at taxpayer expense. Boa constrictors, just like large pythons and anacondas, have the ability to inflict serious bodily harm and even death.
Indiana has no restrictions for primates and constrictor snakes. Our ineffective permitting system allows unqualified individuals and facilities to possess big cats, bears, wolves and venomous reptiles. These lax laws have resulted in situations such as the two tigers who ran loose for 13 hours in Idaville, the Lanesville man who was killed by his reticulated python, the LaPorte infant who was attacked by a pet monkey, the Shelby County woman who was mauled by her son’s pet black bear and numerous residents barely surviving bites from venomous snakes kept as pets.
In the interest of animal welfare and public safety, The Humane Society of the United States urges Indiana legislators to enact strong legislation restricting the possession of dangerous wild animals to only zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and legitimate sanctuaries.
Erin Huang, Indiana state director, The Humane Society of the United States