A 34-year-old man was convicted of illegal possession of a banded Gila monster after the reptile bit him and he had to be rushed to a local hospital.
According to reports, Derek Nathaneal Castaneda of San Pedro, did not have a permit for the venomous reptile, whose bite can be deadly. He was knocked unconscious by the bite and rushed to the hospital. The Gila monster measured 18 inches and was captured and taken to the Orange County Zoo. After the January attack, officials also found two rattlesnakes without valid permits and they euthanized both of them.
Castaneda was convicted of the unlawful possession of a native California reptile species and the unlawful keeping of a wild reptile without a permit.
He was sentenced to three years probation, he must attend 16 animal neglect classes and had been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine to the Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Preservation Fund as well as attend 52 Alcoholic Anonymous Classes. He was already on probation from a previous DUI case.
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