An Ames, Iowa man who was hoping to turn his love of snakes into a career hit an obstacle when the city put the kibosh on his plans.
According to a report by WHO, 26-year-old Kyle Thompson owns 44 snakes and was planning to run a small commercial reptile business out of his home. He submitted an application to the City of Ames to get his business running, but he was turned down.
Neighbors were apparently frightened when they found out Thompson was raising snakes in his home for the last two years, WHO reported.
“A lot of people are afraid of snakes and it’s an irrational fear,” said Thompson. “I understand irrational fear. I have the same irrational fear of spiders.”
Ames, however, has not gotten any complaints about the snakes or reports about them ever escaping, according to the report.
“People have a right to the use and enjoyment of their property so that has to do with how secure you feel,” says Ames City Planner Jeffery Bensen, according to WHO. “All the board members thought that he sounded very responsible. He obviously has a lot of knowledge of snakes. He’s owned snakes since he caught a garter snake in his back yard when he was six years old.”
As for Thompson, he says he would like to continue his hobby and spread his love of the animals to others. If he wants to make his hobby a business, he’ll have to move outside of the city.