ZooBurbia

By Ric Blackwell - bio | email

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - Anybody can have a cat or a dog, but, for some people in our area, their house is turning into a real zoo.

It's not exactly lions, tigers and bears, but more and more people, now have pet monkeys, bobcats and tortoises.

Felicia Serpico loves her cats, she has 24 of them, but only "Bob the Bobcat" has his own bedroom.

Felicia and her husband, David, have turned a guest bedroom in their Lake Worth home into 'Bob's Bungalow'. The bobcat requires a lot of work and a class two license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The state requires twice a year inspections and safety doors to prevent escape. "It is a lot of responsibility, a lot of expense."

"I think, at first, my family thought I was odd, but my family knows I live my passion." Amy Kight is also passionate about animals.

She has a Red-Handed Tamarin monkey named Lola. "I don't have children, guessing, like a child, never grows up." She also has seven tortoises including Hannibel, Kona, Emerson and Monroe.

Many of her animals she rescued from people who no longer wanted them as pets. "I feel bad for them. Nobody else wanted them. [They] don't realize, how expensive it is to buy veggies."

Amy spends $75 a week on lettuce, squash and zucchini. "[The] lady at the grocery store laughs, because I buy all organic. I don't buy organic for myself. They have better quality of food than I do."

They all say owning exotic pets can be hard work and expensive, but, they say, they get paid back with a lot of love.

If you are interested in getting an exotic pet, remember many of these animals require a special license from Florida Fish and Wildlife (Captive Wildlife Rules).