By VLADIMIR NEGRON
December 17, 2009
A raid on an exotic animal delivery company in Texas uncovered thousands of reptiles and rodents on Tuesday, many of which were undernourished or already dead.
Workers from the city of Arlington and animal welfare groups took an inventory of the warehouse -- estimated at 20,000 -- and removed them from U.S. Global Exotics. A Texas-based company, U.S. Global Exotics advertises its ability to deliver exotic animals worldwide. U.S. Global Exotics was unavailable for comments and its Web site has been down since Wednesday.
"Sometimes animals die, but the amount of animals dead far exceeded what you would normally see at any company like this," Jay Sabatucci, manager of animal services with the city of Arlington, told the AP. "Animals were not fed, not fed properly, overcrowded and attacking each other."
It is still unclear how many animals were dead at the warehouse, which contained reptiles, rodents, spiders, sloths, and hedgehogs, but most, according Maura Davies, a spokeswoman with the SPCA of Texas, were severely malnourished.
"A hearing will be held within 10 days to determine if the animals will be returned to the company or stay in the care of the animal welfare groups," Sabatucci said. He also added that the city is considering filing criminal charges against the owner.
Image source: AP photo/Star-Telegram, Kelley Chinn