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legality in texas ?

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Posted by: s_dilks at Sun Aug 27 10:35:47 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by s_dilks ]  
   

Hello all. I am new to this forum and have a couple of questions. First let me tell you a little about myself. I am currently a student of Biology at the University of Texas at El Paso working under the Herpetology department researching Crotalus lepidus (trying to differentiate sub-species using DNA analysis) and other native Chihuahuan Desert herps. Part time I work at a local pet store and people bring me all sorts of herps they find all the time for me to identify. Yesterday was, by chance, the best thing i have been brought. A couple came in and told me that they had cought an iguana in there back yard that was about twelve inches long, but blackish in color. the occasional iguana in someones back yard is a common problem here, but the blackish color is what intrigued me. I asked them to bring it in, and they replied that they had it in their car. They brought it in a litter pan for cats filled with about half an inch of water. When i peered in to the container, i saw a very skinny, imaceated Heloderma suspectum. Quickly thinking how bad I wanted to get this animal away from these people before they killed it, I told them what it was and that i would have to confinscate it because it was a venomous animal. They werre a little freaked out because they had been picking it up for the last week. I took the Heloderma home and created a habitat for it in a 55 gallon aquarium. It ate a mouse yesterday and seems to be doing fine. My questions are; 1) I know their range does not come down as far as to El Paso Texas, how do you feel it got here? My guess is that it was someones pet that escaped and made its way around El Paso. 2) I am thinking about keeping him because I dont want to release him into the wild, as they dont aclimate well to new environments well and usually die. Would keeping him pose a problem? Would I be able to obtain permits to keep this animal?

I have not told my herpetolgy professor yet about this animal. I will tell him monday. THe people that brought it in would not tell me exactly were they live, so I am unable to get a GPS reading of the location this animal was found. All they would tell me was that they found it in their back yard. I have a theroy that I generated that could be a possiblility on how this animal got here. If any of you watch the national news you would have seen that El Paso has had some nasty flooding lately and that the Rio Grande river has risen about 6 feet. My theroy is that, somewhere along the rio in gila territory there was flooding and possibly the gila i obtained was washed down stream and ended up in El Paso. It is just a possibility. Any thoughts, comments and concerns are appriciated. I will try and post pictures of him/ her later. Thanks in advance.


   

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