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Santa Monica might ban more exotic animals from its pier, beaches

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No more rats, rabbits, or spiders on the beach...

Steven Bevacqua // Curbed LA Flickr Group

No trip to a Los Angeles tourist trap would be quite complete without a quick sidestep to avoid a python-wrapped man offering photos with his boa constrictor for money. Santa Monica city leaders were so concerned about the exploitation of exotic animals in exchange for tourist dollars, they outlawed the practice.

In the spring of 2015, Santa Monica officially banned street performers from bringing reptiles, birds, and non-human primates into public spaces, such as the popular Santa Monica Pier and beach. That should be that, right?

Wrong. Enterprising street performers found loopholes by ditching the snakes, parrots, and monkeys in favor of animals that did not happen to fall into banned taxonomies.

Now Santa Monica wants to finish the job. The City Council plans to take up the issue January 10, when a vote is scheduled on a more comprehensive ban, reports the Santa Monica Lookout.

Animals in the crosshairs this time are:

  • arachnids
  • rodents
  • rabbits

If the new ban is passed, that killer bunny/tarantula unicycle act you’ve been working on could incur a penalty of up to $500 and/or six months in jail. For those street performers about to retire their prohibited pet, don’t worry. There’s still fish, amphibians, and several invertebrates that are perfectly legal.