Australia Animal Experts Disapprove of Las Vegas Pet Store Selling Wallabies

Posted by Allie Layos
wallabies

This Las Vegas pet store is selling wallabies as pets, and not everyone thinks it's a good idea. 

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas ... unless someone uploads a video of it to YouTube. This was the case when Codee Yount uploaded a video of his visit to Exotic Pets, a pet store in Vegas that is selling wallabies for $3,499 each.

In certain parts of Nevada, like Las Vegas, exotic animals such as wallabies, can be purchased without a license. Still, Yount was surprised to see them for sale, and responded accordingly in the video.

"Yo, they have like f--ing kangaroos here. Look at that s--t," Yount said in the video. "What if I bought a kangaroo? I think my next purchase is gonna be a little kangaroo."

Language NSFW

The animals were not actually kangaroos but most likely Agile Wallabies, a species common to Australia. However, in an interview with Nine.com.au, Exotic Pets owner Ken Foose said that these wallabies were bred in the U.S.

In Australia, keeping wallabies as pets is only legal in Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and even then owners must obtain the proper license. But Foose is able to sell about two or three wallabies a year, no license needed.

"Wallabies are like Cocker Spaniels," he said. "We treat them just like we would a dog here in America. You put them in your backyard, just like a dog."

In fact, he said, in many ways they may have canines beat.

"They don't bark, they don't bite, they're vegetarians, they're better than dogs," he said. "They're stupid, they won't come to you if you call them or fetch, but they're nice, quiet little pets."

But Diana Fisher, University of Queensland mammal and marsupial expert, does not agree with his assessment.

"They're not great pets," Dr. Fisher said. "Kangaroos and wallabies are not ideal, especially the males. Males have a social system where they fight their way up the hierarchy and they can be quite aggressive."

Australian Kangaroo, roaming free in the outback bush

But the main problem, Dr. Fisher said, is that wallabies need a lot of space to accommodate their mobile and active lifestyle.

Foose maintains that his wallabies have more than enough room, and are not generally kept in their cages during the day, but allowed to hop freely around the store.

"I've got all the licenses and all the experience," he said. "I've got plenty of space for them.

"They're only here for a short amount of time. Then they go to their homes and we make sure the owners have a nice big backyard."

Though he has suffered some backlash since Yount's YouTube video was uploaded on October 24, he does not believe the pet store is doing anything wrong by selling the wallabies.

"We're not mass producing these things or smuggling them or breaking the law," he said.

When animal control officers visited the store on Wednesday to investigate animal cruelty complaints, it seems that they agreed.

"Animal control came out and laughed," he said. "They pet the wallabies and took pictures of themselves with them."

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Australia Animal Experts Disapprove of Las Vegas Pet Store Selling Wallabies