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Exotic Animal Rescue Opens In Kokomo

Elijah Church holds a red tail boa constrictor

Elijah Church holds his red tail boa constrictor, named Fluffy. (Joe Hren, WTIU/WFIU News)

A Kokomo man is opening an exotic animal rescue and sanctuary in his home called ExoticTails Rescue & Sactuary.

Elijah Church says it all started when he took in an eight foot red tail boa constrictor named Fluffy. After that, he says he was flooded with calls about more animals in need of a home.

Now, Elijah and his wife, Sarah are housing several species of animals in their home and are trying to raise money to buy a building that will be accessible to the public.

"It’s gonna be a place to have unique events at that you can come out and be able to see everything," Church says. "It’ll be a complete interactive zoo that will have tours that you’ll go through, you get to handle everything and photo sessions and stuff, so it’s going to be a lot of fun."

Church says there’s a big demand for exotic animal rescues because humane societies generally don’t accept these types of animals.

"We get a lot of calls that, ‘well, we’ve got to move and we can’t take him with us’ or, you know, just in a lot of cases they’ve outgrown their enclosure," he explains.

ExoticTails currently relies on donations and fundraising from events put on in the community. However, Church says that they require a lot more to fully cover what they're spending.

Church says they’ve secured all the permits to open the business and they’ve applied to become a 501c3 nonprofit. They currently rely on donations, but Church says nonprofit status would make grant funding available.

He says they’d use the money to build a separate building which would allow them to take in more animals and provide adoption programs.

A parrot
The Churches are trying to raise money to buy a building that will be accessible to the public. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

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