NORTH CAROLINA (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – When a spitting zebra cobra escaped from its owner, it prompted a two-day chase involving dozens of police and animal control officers, leaving residents in our state capital housebound and terrified.

Laws surrounding North Carolina’s exotic animals are now being reexamined.

North Carolina is only one of four states in the country with no uniform state law on private ownership of exotics. Laws vary depending on your zip code.

“We have enough laws. What we need to do is enforce the laws we already have,” Scottie Brown said, who owns Zootastic in Iredell County.

Meaning, more animal control officers making sure private owners are properly taking care of their wild pets.

Several state lawmakers disagree. They’re looking to strengthen the state’s exotic animal laws after a deadly cobra escaped from its owner in Raleigh.

Right now, state laws only deal with how to house dangerous animals, not what animals people can own. 

Brown is worried lawmakers may end up hurting businesses like his.

“We in the private sector want to continue to breed. We want to make endangered species come back and we’re the ones that are doing that,” he said.

And as a local politician, Brown sees these types of bills pop up every few years. Brown feels that as long as they are treated well and the zoo is regularly inspected, they are not dangerous – or endangered.

Brown said, “These are not just animals they’re our babies.”

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