At a recent Bossier Parish Police Jury meeting, Administrator Bill Altimus received a request that he says is his "first [like it] in 18 years."

Altimus said he has been contacted by an individual who wants to place a rescue resource for a group of reptiles and amphibians that have been abandoned by their owners.

“He wants to put in a LEARN; it’s the Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network,” Altimus told the jury members. “I’ve checked and he would not be in violation of any ordinance.”

Altimus said that LEARN will focus on reptiles and amphibians including turtles and iguanas that people are no longer able to keep, but they will not allow animals probited by law, such as venomous snakes or alligators.

“Basically it would be what you can buy from a pet store,” Altimus said. “This place takes the animals and presents educational programs.”
LEARN also performs rehabilitation on the animals when necessary.

Altimus said the individual making the inquiry is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and a Louisiana Master Naturalist, and also forwarded several letters of recommendation from well-respected authorities.

“He’s looking for some land in Bossier Parish, preferably with a pond for the turtles and others,” Altimus said. “We encouraged him to stay away from subdivisions and to look for land where rezoning might not be necessary.”

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