Reptile, amphibian amnesty day scheduled

Those who illegally own reptiles and amphibians can

Those who illegally own reptiles and amphibians can turn them in without fear of prosecution as part of a program sponsored by the Suffolk County SPCA and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. (Feb. 17, 2013) (Credit: Lili Holzer-Glier)

Those who illegally own reptiles and amphibians can turn them in without fear of prosecution as part of a program sponsored by the Suffolk County SPCA and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The agencies will stage an amnesty day for collecting reptiles and amphibians April 27 at the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, SPCA Chief Roy Gross said Wednesday.

The program is designed to get "reptiles and amphibians into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly," Gross said in news release.

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In the release, Gross said the amnesty program was prompted by last fall's string of reptile abandonments, which included several alligators and snakes.

Instead of abandoning the different species, people can deliver them "without fear of prosecution. No one will be asked to give their name," Gross said.

Collection will be from noon until 4 p.m. at the center, 62 Eckernkamp Dr., the release said.

Trained handlers will be on hand to accept the reptiles and amphibians. Those participating in the program are asked to put the species in containers, which will be returned, the release said.

No mammals will be accepted, Gross said.

Species that will be accepted include:

Constrictor snakes such as Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, African rock pythons, green anacondas, yellow anacondas, Australian amethystine pythons, Indian pythons.

Lizards: Asiatic such as (water) monitor, Nile monitor, white-throat monitor, black-throat monitor, crocodile monitor and Komodo dragon.

Also, all species and subspecies of crocodiles and alligators also will be accepted, Gross said.

For more information on the program call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.

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