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Rare reptiles raised as pets in Austin

by Melissa Mahadeo / KVUE with photojournalist Derek Rasor

khou.com

Posted on September 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

AUSTIN -- "Brought tears to my eyes man. It was a bad experience, you know," Chris Foster said. "I raised them since they were babies and I loved them dearly."

That bad experience was when he lost his two babies, Bubbles and Shira. 

Bubbles and Shira are caimans.

"They are reptiles, they are in the crocodilian family," Tim Cole with the Austin Reptile Service said. "Quite a few zoos have them on display."

But for about 12 years they were living with Foster. He currently lives on Burr Ridge Drive in Northwest Austin.

Certain animals are not allowed within city limits. Earlier this week Austin Animal Center forced Foster to hand them over.

Foster said he understands why he was probably reported to authorities.

"I guess one of the neighbors were spooked or something," he said.

But he said hopes Shira and Bubbles still get the attention they deserve.

They are currently with Austin Reptile Service but the two caimans will be taken to a reptile zoo in Bastrop County.

Foster said he eventually plans to move outside of city limits and raise caimans again.

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