Are 29 snakes 28 too many?
Police cited Thomas Cobb a week ago for failure to have an exotic pet permit and told him he had until Friday to get rid of all but one of his 29 boa constrictors.
A neighbor spotted one of the snakes and called police to Cobb's home last week. He said officers also found 80 rats, which were being kept as food for the snakes.
Cobb values the snakes at $12,000 apiece and said he spent $100,000 on a special room in his basement with top-of-the-line cages. Some of the snakes are as long as 7 feet.
City council members agreed on Friday to look into the case further after Cobb argued that a local ordinance is confusing.
Cobb got the attention of the council and the mayor after he took his fight against the snake eviction to the Internet and local radio shows. He maintains he's the victim, in part, of the public's distaste for snakes in general.
"We see movies, we see 'Snakes on a Plane,' we see 'Anaconda,' we see these movies where snakes are portrayed as monsters and can eat school buses, and that is not the case."
Cobb was cited for failing to have the permit required when anyone owns more than one exotic pet. He disputes that interpretation and maintains he needs to show only that he can properly care for the snakes, that they do not pose a danger to the public and that he has knowledge of the animals.
Critical thinking challenge: Why are people afraid of snakes? Should Thomas Cobb be allowed to keep them? Should the city have the right to force him to remove them?
- Posted on May 6, 2013