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New Yorkers caught with illegal animals

March 17, 2013 at 3:20 PM

NEW YORK, March 17 (UPI) -- New York City inspectors busted more than 24 people for allegedly keeping, selling or displaying exotic animals that are illegal to own.

Health Department records show that more than 24 people in New York were caught will the illegal exotic animals, including stingrays, scorpions, snakes and a sloth, the New York Post reported.

A man from Long Island was caught with the most impressive collection of animals, which included a king snake, lemur, hedgehog, marmoset, sloth, and a coati, a raccoon-type animal, all of which he brought to a child's birthday party in Manhattan's Upper East Side, New York City records show.

City inspectors also found six stingrays in a Queens pet shop, two in a Lower East Side store and a foot-long blue-spot stingray on Staten Island.

A black scorpion, tarantula and a white-faced capuchin monkey were found in Brooklyn's East Flatbush neighborhood.

And a Washington Heights store was caught selling 10 piranhas.

People caught with the illegal critters faced $500 fines for each animal, the newspaper said.

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