Man Jailed For Keeping Wildlife Animals In His House as Pets


When you think of pets—dogs, cats, parrots and rabbits would come to your mind.

But what about snakes and scorpions?

Illegal pet trade is a very real thing

The illegal pet trade is something that is not often talked about in the media.

I mean we have heard about poaching of endangered species but did you know there is actually a black market for exotic pets?

I didn’t think much about it until I read the book—The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession and the World’s Most Coveted Fish.


There are no dragons involved (how I wish): the said mythical creature actually refers to the Asian Arowana.

Yes, the one that is believed to bring in luck.

This riveting  non-fiction book is about a U.S. based journalist who investigates on the illegal importation of arowana in the U.S..

To truly understand the dark underbelly of this illegal trade, she even came to Singapore and she wrote about her account with Kenny Yap aka Kenny the Fish, the chairman of Qian Hu which is known for its ornamental fishes like the arowana.

Image: SPH

One of the many things that fascinated me was when she talked to a pet detective in NYC; it included mind boggling stories like people living with a tiger and an alligator.

I doubt Singaporeans can get away with keeping a tiger but it didn’t stop one man from trying to keep a bunch of illegal wildlife in his place.

Reminds me of Princess Jasmine when she had a tiger for a pet.


Illegal pets found in someone’s home

42-year old, Lau Kin Wei Clement was fined $4,700 in court on 3 Nov for possession and keeping of seven illegal wildlife species, Stomp reported.

As he was unable to pay the fine, he will have to face jail time of 23 days.

The animals were seized by AVA and it included two Wagler’s pit viper, a Paradise tree snake, a Painted bronzeback snake, a common snapping turtle, a giant black scorpion and an alligator snapping turtle which is an endangered species.

Image: AVA

Sounds like he had a mini reptile room of sorts.

Image: AVA

He could have faced up to a fine of up to $500,000 and/or two years imprisonments and the forfeiture of the wild animals.

He basically got off easy, if you think about it.

Why can’t we keep exotic animals as pet?

It could threaten the animal’s population in the wild if there is a demand for it, and their quality of life can be greatly compromised if they are kept at homes (since they’re wildlife).

All in all, you wouldn’t want your neighbours to be screaming if they see a giant python slithering out of your door.

You can read more about it here.


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Featured image: AVA