150 Crocodiles In Home

Published: August 14, 2015

150 Crocodiles In Home, About 150 crocodiles, alligators and caimans are now safe at an animal sanctuary after a Toronto-area man overwhelmed by his reptile collection issued a plea for help.

The reptiles, some more than three metres long, had been kept in a home for about 10 years before Bry Loyst of the Indian River Reptile Zoo near Peterborough, Ont., was called in to help.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Loyst said Thursday on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning show. “I could not believe that somebody had that many crocodilians and raised them to adulthood. These were not baby little crocodiles,” he said. “They were adults.”

Although they are often bred and sold as pets, owning such large reptiles contravenes a city bylaw.

Loyst would not disclose the location of the house where the reptiles were rescued, saying only that it was a residential area of the city and that the animals were kept in aquariums.

“I think it started out as a business and he fell in love with the crocodiles and kept them as pets,” Loyst said.

?He often fields calls from owners of full-sized crocodilians who buy the animals when they are small and cute, then become overwhelmed as the pets reach adulthood. What’s unusual in this case is that the animals inside this house were kept for a long time as adults. None were smaller than a metre in length, with the longest measuring more than three metres.

Located about 150 kilometres east of Toronto, the Indian River Reptile Zoo also operates as an animal sanctuary. Loyst, who is the curator and a co-founder, said the rescue was “timely” because the zoo was in the process of adding a new million-dollar building to house large reptiles. The zoo is home to more than 400 snakes, turtles and lizards.

Loyst commended the Toronto man for “doing the right thing” by issuing a call for help. He said the man made “an extremely large donation” to the zoo.

“He did a lot of wrong things, but kudos to him. He did the right thing by giving [the animals] a better place,” Loyst said.

The reptiles now reside in a “huge” heated indoor enclosure, with access to the outdoors.


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