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Family Surrenders Illegally Bought Wolf After Animal Becomes Aggressive

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Wild animals are for sale on the black market, and hundreds of people in the New York area buy them over the internet, drive out-of-state to pick them up, and illegally raise them as domestic pets.

One Long Island family just surrendered their wild and aggressive wolf.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported, Nikita the wolf is an illegally owned, wild, exotic, and highly dangerous animal whose owner called the SPCA and admitted that his Ronkonkoma family bought the wolf as a weeks old pup.

They got her on the black market, from an out-of-state breeder, but feared for their safety when the 6-year-old wolf became aggressive.

"They are unpredictable, it's a wild animal, this is what they do, they hunt and they kill," SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.

The Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center is Nikita's new home. She joined other recently confiscated animals that were once raised inside Suffolk County homes.

An alligator snapping turtle could chomp off an ankle, box turtles carry parasites, a hybrid fox roamed a neighborhood, a bobcat escaped a backyard, a deer was found living inside an East Hampton house, three peacocks were found in a bedroom, and one skunk was actively spraying its owner.

"You have something you shouldn't have, get it where it needs to go so it's safe and the public around you is safe," Jeff Negron said.

"These animals are by nature, wild animals, yet they may be friendly for a while, at some point in time they are going to turn on you," Lt. Tom Gadomski explained.

Police warn that big cats, primates, small mammals, birds, and reptiles are available for sale from illegal dealers across the country.

"Seventy five people nationwide have been killed by these exotic animals, that's not to mention how many have been maimed," Gross said.

Trapping or purchasing and raising a wild animal means fines, prosecution, and jail time. Wild animals kept as pets transmit diseases, doctors said.

Animal lovers agreed, it's best to turn them in.

"They could eat you, but I really hope they would put other wolves in with it, so that it would be with its pack," 7-year-old Jace Power said.

September 30, is amnesty day, when owners of illegal exotic animals can surrender them withno fear of penalties and no questions asked.

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