BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A pet nutria named Neuty will get to stay in his New Orelans home.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries previously determined that the wild animal couldn’t be kept as a pet and worked out a deal for him to live at the Baton Rouge Zoo. On Friday afternoon, LDWF announced that an agreement was worked out and the owners could keep him.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said in a news release that the owners have applied for a permit and LDWF was provided special conditions under which the nutria can remain with his owners.
On Thursday the nutria, which is illegal to own, was set to be a part of the zoo’s educational exhibit. Neuty was going to be a part of the zoo’s “Ambassador Animal Program,” officials said.
“The Zoo’s professional staff will care for the nutria as they would all other animals within their skilled care and looks forward to bringing a new member into the zoo animal family,” Baton Rouge Zoo said in a statement.
Agents learned about the pet nutria after New Orleans-area media reported about the animal and worked with BREC officials to find a way to save the animal, according to LDWF.
The state wildlife agency said it is against Louisiana law to keep an injured or orphaned wild animal without a permit and it is illegal to keep wildlife as a pet.
Normally, these types of animals would go back into the wild, LDWF said, however, officials said since the nutria had gotten used to humans, then it would not survive on its own.
The owners previously had been issued a citation for possession of a wild animal that is not permitted. The details of the special permission to keep him are still being determined.
“I think this is a good conclusion for all sides,” Montoucet said.
As of Friday afternoon, over 17,000 people had signed a petition to keep Neuty with his family.
Part of the petition’s description read: “Hell, if some Louisiana politicians and authorities can get away with corruption and major infractions all the damn time since forever, what harm is it to let Neuty and the Lacostes live in peace as they have for many years?”