COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A Cottonwood Heights homeowner has been cited for illegally owning 29 boa constrictors and keeping them in his basement.
Police said neighbors of Thomas Cobb filed complaints because they had suspicions he had illegal snakes.
On Friday, Cobb invited ABC4 into his home to show how he cares for the snakes.
“These are beautiful animals, they are not aggressive,” he said.
“Our exotic pet permit only allows for one of those types of animals, so there's no way that 29 would ever work for us,” said Sgt. Dan Bartlett, Cottonwood Heights Police.
Cobb said he didn't know about the ordinance when he built the home just ten months ago... specifically designed with climate-controlled room to house his expensive snake collection which he said is valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“This animal right here is worth someone's car, this animal right here is worth a lesser car, this animal is a brand-new Honda Civic,” he told ABC4's Kim Johnson as he showed her different snakes.
Police said although the snakes are well taken care of, having exotic animals in a neighborhood is a public safety issue.
“It's is for the neighbors, it is for those who live there,” said Barlett. “They were concerned about their children, small children, they were concerned about the smell, what he's doing with the waste.”
Police have given Cobb one week to get the snakes out of the home. He said he plans to comply although he doesn't know where he will take the snakes.