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Suffolk’s ‘amnesty day’ for exotic pet owners set for Saturday

These four gators were captured in the Peconic River in April 2013. (Credit: DEC courtesy, file)

The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is hosting another “amnesty day” to recover illegally owned exotic animals in the area.

The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Town of Brookhaven Wildlife and Ecology Center in Holtsville from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trained experts will be on hand to take in protected, endangered and threatened animals that residents currently own without proper permits, including snakes and alligators.

“The purpose of this effort is to get these illegally possessed animals into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly,” SPCA Chief Roy Gross said in a press release. “People who are in possession of these animals unlawfully can turn them into us without fear of prosecution. No one will be asked to give their name.”

At the first-ever installation of such an event last May, authorities recovered more than 25 animals, including monkeys.

Exotic animals have made several appearances in the county in recent years, helping prompt these amnesty days, officials said.

In 2012, nine alligators were found in the county — one of which was discovered in Wading River — in a span of only a few weeks.

Then, in April 2013, State Department of Environmental Conservation officers scooped four alligators from the Peconic River in Calverton. Two months later, they euthanized a fifth alligator because it proved too elusive to be caught.

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Photo: These four gators were captured in the Peconic River in April 2013. (Credit: DEC courtesy, file)