Council passes exotic animal ordinance
There is no longer an alligator living in a backyard pen in a city neighborhood or anywhere else at the residence.
Last week, a Waupaca police officer checked if the alligator was still living there.
“It is gone,” Police Chief Tim Goke said. “He (the resident) got rid of it, because he knew the city was pursuing an ordinance.”
An ordinance prohibiting the keeping of wild or exotic animals was unanimously approved by the Common Council on Nov. 15.
Examples of animals that are on the prohibited list are chimpanzees, monkeys, felids, wolves, coyotes, foxes, prairie dogs, elephants, alligators, crocodiles, kangaroos, opossums, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, hyenas, skunks, otters, badgers, raccoons, anteaters, sloth, armadillos, mongooses, reptiles more than 10 feet in length, venonomous reptiles, bears, games cocks and other fighting birds, ostriches, emus, sharks and – except on farms – horses, mules, ponies, donkeys, cows, pigs, goats, sheep or any animal raised for fur-bearing purposes unless permitted elsewhere in city code.
Goke said the newly approved ordinance does not have a grandfather clause.
City residents who are suspected of keeping wild or exotic animals will be given the opportunity to get rid of the animals. If they do not, they will face sanctions, he said.
City staff will not be looking for the animals. If the city receives a complaint from a neighbor or someone who feels in danger, it has a new ordinance in place to handle it.
Last summer, police learned there was an alligator living in a backyard pen a block away from the Waupaca River.
Because the city did not have an ordinance related to exotic animals, it was not equipped to deal with the complaint.
Now, it is.