'We have made an arrest in the case of the missing animals,' Santa Fe College Police Captain Ryan Woods said in a statement. 'Our investigation is continuing, and we are still concerned for the safety of the missing animals and we hope we are able to recover them quickly.'
That's how we find out that there are laws against having your own zoo in your own apartment, apparently. And here I thought we lived in America.
Or Florida, at least.
The Price of a Zoo
We may not find out exactly why Sedrick T. Price was pilfering animals from the Santa Fe College teaching zoo. College police and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office discovered three Florida box turtles, two red-foot tortoises, a skink, and a squirrel monkey inside the 20-year-old's apartment. Not exactly an array of exotic animals you'd expect on the black market. Perhaps Price was lonely and enjoyed the company of fauna. Maybe he was conducting his own field research on reptiles and the squirrel monkey was his assistant. Price may be an environmentalist trying to set the animals free, or he wondered why the college and big institutions were the only ones in the zoo game.
Either way, someone narc'ed out Mr. Price. "It was a great collaboration of effort from the community," the college's police chief Ed Book said in a statement, referring to the tip that led officers to Price's apartment, as well as the students who identified the animals. "We are grateful for the many tips we received from the public, as well as the coordinated efforts of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and the college community that led to the rescue of these animals. Our investigation still has a long way to go, but recovering these animals was a great start."
Turtles on the Run
That "still" to which Book is referring are the four animals -- two gopher tortoises and two box turtles -- that are still missing, two of which have medical conditions that require additional care. "Thankfully, the police received a tip that led to the recovery of the animals," Jonathan Miot, the director of the college's teaching zoo said in a statement. "We are still hopeful that the two gopher tortoises and two box turtles who need medical attention are recovered."
Perhaps there are more amateur zoologists out there. We can only hope.