Many experts think these animals shouldn’t be in your home. Turning them into pets raises numerous ecological and ethical questions.
By JOANNA KLEIN
A snapping turtle surrendered to officials by its owner at an “exotic animal amnesty day” in Bridgeport, Conn. Credit Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Reclining with a laptop on my couch in Brooklyn, I searched “buy lizard online” and clicked the first link. I filled my cart with a flying dragon, a couple of caimans, a red-eared slider turtle, a poison dart frog and an albino garter snake.
I agreed to the terms and conditions, certifying that I knew the laws governing reptile ownership (it is illegal for me to own some of these reptiles in New York), that I understood exceptions for baby turtles (I still don’t), and that I wouldn’t hold the company responsible…