B.T.J.’s Jungle in West Islip is usually a haven for pet owners and animals alike. This week though, it was the scene of a crime. Numerous animals were reported stolen from the popular Long Island pet store known for its exotic taste.
Thirteen small turtles, koi fish, and a chicken were stolen from B.T.J.’s Jungle on October 7. Owners of the pet store didn’t report it to Suffolk County Police until this weekend. The animals totaled out to about $1,500.
“We had two chickens – Heckle and Jekyll, which was the black silky chicken we had here,” owner William Niehoff said in an interview to CBS News.
Niehoff said the suspect attempted to make off with another chicken but could not find it. The koi fish were stolen from a big pond and smaller tub. Each one was estimated at $400 apiece. Surveillance cams show the man was in a hoodie armed with a pillowcase for stashing the turtles he stole from the pet shop’s backyard.
Neihoff doesn’t know whether the thief wanted the animals for his own collection or whether he planned to sell them. Whatever the case may be, he wants them returned to the pet store. Anyone with information on the stolen koi fish, chickens, and turtles, is being asked to call the Suffolk County Police department. As of right now, no arrests have been made.
In related Long Island animal news, Richard Parrinello, the animal control officer found with more than 850 snakes in his garage, is opening up his own store. The Town of Brookhaven gave him just a few weeks to move the reptiles from his home. Parrinello says he will have difficulties moving the snakes as the mating season is over and this is the time females care for their eggs.