Quick question regarding keeping snakes venomous/non-venomous snakes in Illinois?
I don't know if we're allowed to post threads such as this, but, here goes nothing!
Here's basically the law, before anyone posts saying 'Read the law!':
No person may harbor, care for, act as a custodian, or maintain in his possession any dangerous animal or primate except at a properly maintained zoological park, federally licensed exhibit, circus, scientific institution, research laboratory, veterinary hospital or animal refuge. "Dangerous animal" means a lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, bear, hyena, wolf, coyote, or any poisonous life-threatening reptile. Persons who had lawful possession of a primate before Jan. 1, 2011, from continuing to possess that primate if the person registers the animal by providing written notification to the local animal control administrator on or before April 1, 2011. There are no state requirements for a person possessing other exotic species not defined as "dangerous animals."
I understand that someone who isn't qualified to keep a venomous snake isn't allowed to, but, is there a license you can have to keep such snakes? I haven't read anything about this on the internet, and I've checked sites. Although, I've heard for people that you're allowed to, only if you have a license. That's the part I'm confused it, is there such a license?
Also, does being a zoologist allow you to harbor such animals? For instance, I plan on majoring in herpetology in college, so would that allow me to 'bypass' the law in a sense? If someone could give me a clear answer to these questions I'd greatly appreciate it!
Re: Quick question regarding keeping snakes venomous/non-venomous snakes in Illinois?
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky Dragons
I don't see anything about venomous snakes. There's a clause about poisonous reptiles but I'm not sure what those are
Haha. I thought about that too, but, then came the idea if I was caught with the animals. I could try explaining that there's no such thing as a poisonous animal, but, I have a gut feeling that wouldn't work out too well.
After looking through more, I saw an article and got my question answered. You need to have at least $100,000 for each animal you have on hand in case it does get loose. That's just ridiculous. Who has that kind of money on hand? Do I look like Bill Gates?
Looks like I'm not going to be living in Illinois when I graduate college! Wonder what state would be good then...hmmm...haha
Last edited by theReptileGuy; 06-08-2012 at 07:28 PM.
So it is now illegal to even possess burms and retics in FL? That is news to me if it is the case.
As for the law in Illinois, you would have nothing to worry about if you were "caught" with a venemous snake. First of all, venemous and poisonous are not synonyms. Second, it says poisonous life-threatening reptile. Even if the aforementioned words were synonymous, it doesn't say and/or life threatening, meaning that animals that are just poisonous or life threatening, but not both, are exempt from that piece of legislation. By that logic snakes like copperheads would be exempt (no one, at least in the state of Missouri, has ever died from a copperhead bite), as would certain species of poison dart frogs would be allowed in IL as well.
As for your degree, have you found a program that offers herpetology as an undergraduate program? I remember looking before starting collge but couldn't find anything and ended up with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I'm partway through an MS in Rangeland Ecosystem Science at the moment, but even with these degrees I can get jobs that will deal with herpetologically oriented research. I help out in the herp lab at KU (University of Kansas) while an undergrad there and I also did field work in herpetological ecology. One bit of field work was tracking radio tagged timber rattlesnakes around their den site during the period of the year when they are out of brumation to determine how they move from a den and what their home range is. The other was a general population/species survey of snakes on Fort Leavenworth, KS. I had multiple different transects set up with pieces of sheet metal emplaced as artificial cover (snakes would be attracted by the metal catching heat during the day and use it as cover. the metal also attracted mice and as a result may have been bad for many of the smaller species that I observed as mice and voles will occasionally prey upon them). I was trying to find the existence of smooth earth snakes to either support or refute their threatened status in the state of KS.
Anyway - Hope that answered your question and gave you some insight as to what you can do in herpetology without a degree specifically in that field. I honestly feel that offering an undergraduate degree that specific in nature would have the potential to limit one's horizons for working in manny different general fields of biology. When do you plan to start college?