Long Island Man Busted Keeping Sloth and Wallaby in Home, Animals Very Much Not Native To Long Island

by Michael Freeman

You always hear about people keeping exotic pets, but some are more out there than others. In this case, not only did a Long Island man keep a sloth and wallaby in his home, the living conditions weren’t the greatest, either.

The New York Post reports the United States Department of Agriculture cited the East Rockaway man after learning he kept a sloth and wallaby in unsafe living conditions. USDA officials inspected Larry Wallach’s home, discovering a sloth living in his garage. Making matters worse, hanging bicycles and stacked items surrounded the enclosure. Further, the citation includes dangers like exposed wires.

Meanwhile, he housed the wallaby improperly as well. Its enclosure measured only 39 inches in height, something it could easily escape by jumping. Officials previously visited his home in 2017 when people reported him keeping a wallaby. Wallabies are cute, yet dangerous, not to mention illegal under Nassau County law.

It seems Wallace has a history of keeping illegal pets, as the USDA cited him in May 2021 as well. In this instance, Wallach’s pet dog injured a tiger cub while the two were playing. “Handling of all animals shall be done in a manner that does not cause trauma, behavior stress or unnecessary discomfort,” the USDA said.

PETA noticed Wallach’s abuse and repeatedly attempted to make the USDA revoke Wallach’s licenses for handling animals.

“Wherever Larry Wallach goes, the potential for disaster follows,” PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott informed Patch. PETA also asked people to stay away from Wallach while urging authorities to revoke his license for public safety.

Sloth Bear Attacks Six People and Escapes Capture

While not quite a sloth, another animal-related incident happened earlier this year. Back in April 2021, a sloth bear attacked six people and evaded capture.

Attibele, India found itself in a scare earlier this year after a number of bear attacks in one week. It assaulted six people, prompting wildlife officials to issue a warning for a 50-mile radius around Bannerghatta National Park. Additionally, more than 100 BNP officials, local police, forest department, and wildlife officials searched for the bear. Even adding cameras and traps, the search, unfortunately, ended fruitlessly.

A forest department senior official talked to The New Indian Express, expressing concern. “There have been no signs of the animal in the last three days. Four days back, the sloth bear was sighted at night near a temple in N Begur, which is 4-5 kilometers [2-3 miles] away from BNP.”

Luckily, the attacks stopped shortly afterward, leading officials to believe it returned to its natural habitat. “So we are only hoping that it would have made its way back to the forest patch using its natural instinct. However, we are not letting our guard down,” the senior official stated.