Exotic Reptile Owner In OKC Is Not Letting Charges Stop Him
OKLAHOMA CITY - Dozens of snakes, some capable of killing with one bite, and extremely rare reptiles from all over the world, are part of Chris Curtis’ precious collection.
“It’s my passion,” he said.
His father, Lawrence Curtis, was a former director of the Oklahoma City Zoo in the 1980s. So, Chris has been around exotic animals his whole life. Now he's working on his own herpetarium near SE 15th and High Ave.
In late August, Oklahoma City Animal Control showed up to Chris's property and took video, which News 9 obtained through an open records request. It shows an American Alligator near a pond on Curtis’ property, where there were other animals not allowed as pets in Oklahoma.
On Nov. 8, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Game Wardens seized those animals and Curtis is now facing charges for the violations.
“I deserve them. I got to be reprimanded. You can’t just be a wild man,” Curtis told News 9.
He also did not have some proper permits. He admitted he had been procrastinating.
“What happened was, we got a little behind and they reprimanded me and gave me a spanking and said, ‘Come on. Let’s get it going,’” he explained.
While some of his animals remain in state custody, Chris continues to build on his dream facility.
“All these animals need help,” he said.
He hopes to eventually share his passion for reptiles with the public.
“Without these animals, the ecosystem fails. And when the ecosystem fails, we fail,” he said.
Chris’s initial appearance for the four charges he faces is scheduled for Jan. 27 in Oklahoma County District Court.