A Japanese man living in the city of Osaka has been taken in for questioning by the city police after it was found that he has been keeping more than 80 reptiles, which includes venomous lizards andsnakes, as pets in his small one-room flat. The police were alerted after a very scared neighbor found a long snake slithering along a wall outside his flat, after which he promptly informed the authorities.
Police officers then raided the property and found that that there were dozens of reptiles being kept in individual containers within the very small 107-square-feet studio flat. For many of the different types of reptiles found, a prospective owner would need to obtain correct permits to keep them in a home within the city, and the owner could not show such permits. The reptiles for which the owner did not have permits for were then seized by the police, including a boa constrictor that stretched nearly 10 feet. The owner was a 40-year-old man, who reportedly told the officers that all the reptiles found inside his home were kept as personal pets, and he regularly fed them frozen mice.
Most Japanese pet owners would probably opt for cats or dogs, but owning exotic reptiles such as snakes and lizards have become increasingly popular in recent years. Japan is already home to a “reptile café”, where visitors observe and pet a range of different species of reptiles while having a cup of tea. The prosecutors’ office in Osaka is currently examining the case on suspicion that the man, who was not arrested, violated laws in relation to the welfare and the management of animals in his home. “The man told us he kept them as pets and fed them on things like frozen mice. We are investigating where he obtained these reptiles,” a police official said.