The boa constrictor that was discovered and bifurcated at Ludlow train station in Yonkers, NY on Tuesday, October 12th was actually abandoned by Bronx Reptiles, a well-known breeding and rescue operation that recently shut down. I don’t know the full details of or history behind Bronx Reptiles, but a tenant in the building contacted one of our associates after the owners vacated the operation, fled their legal troubles, and disappeared, leaving hundreds of dead or dying animals in their dirty enclosures.
My wife Kelly and I run Hamor Hollow Hedgehogs, a USDA-licensed hedgehog breeding and rescue organization, but nothing could have prepared us for what we experienced on Saturday, October 16th. The landlord of the building, who Bronx Reptiles still owed a few months in back rent, gave us full access to the facility to search for and rescue any live animals that had been left behind. Instead we found hundreds of contaminated enclosures still filled with dirty bedding and exsiccated carcasses, contaminated and unsanitary conditions, expired food and medication, and a thick layer of grime and mold coating every conceivable surface.
Kelly and I scoured the building along with Linda of Mid-Atlantic Exotic Rescue and Elana and Jason of Hedgeboken Hedgehogs. For all of our efforts, all we were able to save was a fancy rat colony that had taken refuge in a urine-soaked cardboard box in the corner of the warehouse, a tarantula, a tank full of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and a fire bellied toad that had fallen into a dirty sink. Some horribly emaciated lizards that were still alive when we arrived that morning had all died by that afternoon even after administering Reptile Jump Start supplement.
The few animals we rescued have been successfully rehomed, and the tenant who had originally contacted us has been given ongoing access to the facility to continue the search for survivors and will keep us updated with her success.