Residents of Van Nuys discovered this month that an alligator named Jaxson had been living in a neighbor's backyard for the last 37 years.
But it is far from the only story of exotic pets living among us in Southern California. Over the years, officials have found leopards, hyenas, exotic birds, lions, armadillos and even a camel.
Who are some of the more famous exotic animals?
You have to start with
At the turn of the last century, The Times wrote frequently about actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was famous for having a menagerie of exotic pets, including goats and spiders.
Have popular exotic animals changed over the years?
Yes. A case in point is the pot-bellied pig. They were all the rage in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some owners paid thousands of dollars for the creatures, who looked cute when they were young. But they swell to 250 pounds and were more difficult to care for than many owners expected.
How many wild-animal permits have been issued in Los Angeles?
Currently, there are 98 wild animal permits issued, according to Cmdr. Mark Salazar of the Animal Services Department. Permit holders must renew them every year. But that's not the only hurdle. People must also obtain permits from the
So there are 98 wild animals living in L.A.?
No. Most permits are issued for special events and filming, not for residential pets, Salazar said.
What types of exotic animals can you get permits for?
Permit holders can have anything from squirrels to large cats and bears.
So how many alligators are in L.A. legally?