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Santa Monica Considering Ban on Exotic Animals at the Pier

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Santa Monica has had it with these frickin' snakes on their frickin' pier. Exotic and wild animals may soon be barred from hanging out on the popular Santa Monica Pier with their humans or being used as props for $5 photos. The Pier Corporation, which oversees the attraction, has unanimously recommended to the Santa Monica City Council that it implement a ban on the animals at the pier. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that SaMo's Recreation and Parks Commission originally came up with the plan, claiming there's been a recent surge in animal acts that's pushed the novelty from fun to potentially dangerous.

"It seems to have gotten worse because there is now only one walkway down to the pier. Strategically, if you're the snake man or the bird man, you can station yourself so that every single person that goes up or down the pier has to see you," the Rec and Parks Commission Chair says. There seem to be a ton of both kinds of animals lining the pier, to hear him tell it: "I was walking down to the pier and someone stuck a snake in my face with their right hand, and I sort of ducked from that and a bird was coming at me from the other side." With that kind of crowding, something bad's bound to go down.

But the people who bring their snakes and birds to the pier downplay the danger: "Sure sometimes the birds bite a little bit but that's all birds," one bird man explains. "It doesn't kill anybody. It doesn't give anybody stitches. Just a little scrape." An assistant snake man says that this ban is just another example of our freedoms being stripped away by the government: "It's just like Hitler did before he took over Germany ... He took away people's rights little by little so they didn't realize they were getting taken away." Another old-time animal charmer who worked on the pier for years is skeptical that anything will actually change in his day-to-day pier activities, regardless of what's decided: "I've heard this eight times since the last five years I've been coming out here and guess what: It's not even a scare tactic to me."

Though the Rec and Parks Commission and the Pier Corporation both recommended the ban, the SaMo City Council is the one that'll make the call.
· City considers ban on wild animals [SMDP]

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