Exotic pet ownership on the rise

A caiman at the Reptilia Zoo and Education Facility in Vaughan on Friday, July 18, 2014. (Veronica...

A caiman at the Reptilia Zoo and Education Facility in Vaughan on Friday, July 18, 2014. (Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun)

Blake Wolfe, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:38 PM ET

TORONTO - For anyone considering an exotic pet, knowledge is power.

Earlier this month, an 80-cm caiman — a reptile related to the crocodile — was rescued from a pond in Toronto’s High Park. The animal, which was taken to Reptilia Zoo in Vaughan, is assumed to be a former pet that grew too large or difficult for its owner to care for and was released.

High-profile stories of exotic or unusual pets either escaping or being set free by their owners are nothing new. Before the High Park caiman shot to its 15 minutes of fame, Darwin ‘the Ikea monkey’ captured headlines around the world in December 2012 after it escaped from owner Yasmin Nakhuda’s car, parked at the Toronto furniture store.


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