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Accountability for exotic ‘pet’ owners

Fifteen-foot pythons and 7-foot crocodiles are fun to look at in zoos — but not so enjoyable in the hills of West Virginia or the creeks of Ohio.

A few weeks ago, a Morgantown man somehow let his 15-foot python escape into the woods outside the city. Efforts to find the reptile have been futile.

Last week near West Alexandria, Ohio, a group of youngsters with a church group were preparing to take a dip in a creek when one of them spotted a 7-foot-long crocodile. A wildlife officer had to kill the animal.

What if one of the children hadn’t noticed the crocodile and the group had entered the water? What if someone unfamiliar with the fearsome strength of a large snake tried to capture the python?

The snake’s owner missed a hearing last week on a charge of allowing an animal to escape. The municipal judge in the case said he will be arrested if he skips the next hearing.

Good. Irresponsible owners of dangerous “pets” need to be held accountable for them.

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