Ohio Agricultural Department Forces TikToker to Give Up Monkeys – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-12-01 09:04:29 –

Kaiyahoga County, Ohio — Rico Exotic is always Beloved animal..

“You grow up in poverty and you end up with that poverty,” he said. “Animals were my remedy to prevent mental problems such as depression and the anxiety and delusions that result from being in the environment.”

My 22-year-old real name isn’t lyco-exotic, but I didn’t want WEWS to use my full name. He grew up in Cleveland and said the nickname “Rico Exotic” was prevalent as people acknowledged his love for all animals.

“I rescued one of the raccoons [from a neighbor] That’s when they started calling me lyco-exotic. “

Over time, the number of animals he owns has increased.

“I had a raccoon, a degu, a coati, a lemur, and my monkey, Mike,” he said.

When Rico posted a savanna monkey mic on TikTok a year ago, his followers also increased.

He currently has 1.5 million followers on TikTok, over 35.5 million likes and 117,000 followers on Instagram. He shows viewers a video of how he cares for animals and deepens ties.

“I give them a safe place. I give Mike a safe place,” he said. “Many people support what I do and respect what I do.”

But earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Agriculture received information about his monkeys. They attacked their home in northeastern Ohio on November 17.

“I turned the horns into my kitchen, and there are five firearms on my face and police shield. I was so confused because I didn’t know what I did to cause this. “He said. “They cuff me, and I ask,” What did I do? ” And they are like “Where are the monkeys?” “

The Ohio Agricultural Service has classified the savanna monkey Mike as a dangerous wildlife. An agency spokesman said Rico did not have a dangerous wildlife permit for him.

Rico was unaware that Ohio law classified the savanna monkey as dangerous. He said he thought he was doing everything right.

“It’s not clear. I don’t call it a savanna monkey there,” he said. “I didn’t want to violate the law, so I was able to post it on social media and be targeted.”

ODA’s Animal Health Department put Mike under quarantine while looking for a suitable sanctuary for Mike. Rico said no clear instructions were given on the quarantine timeline and what to do with Mike.

“They told me I had to take him out of the state, or they were going to come back and take him,” Rico said.

He said he didn’t want to take Mike to the state, so he took him to Tennessee’s animal rescue.

Rico said it was a big farewell.

“This situation is very serious for us two. Mike knows when I’m down or when I feel sad. He didn’t let me go all night, he Clasped me. “

However, because Rico violated the quarantine order, he now has more problems with the state.

“It’s a bit confusing because I had to get him out of the state. How can I do that?” He asked.

He hired a lawyer to fight the accusations against him, but he just wants to meet Mike again.

“It may look like a pet to anyone else,’Oh, it’s just a monkey, get rid of him,'” it’s not. I see him as my son. I Taken him. He was abandoned. “

He started GoFundMe A page to drive his animals out of the state and raise money to open an animal sanctuary.

“So I can move, get me a new home, and get a legally safe place for me and my animals.”

ODA said the issue was an open inquiry.Click for a list of animals considered dangerous in Ohio here.

This story was originally published by Jessi Schultz of WEWS.

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