LODI, N.J. — Pigs, skunks, snakes, hairless guinea pigs, tarantulas and other exotic animals call Lodi home at a local pet store.
A coatimundi of TV fame recently dwelled at NJ Exotic Pets on Union Street as one of the rare animals to come through the doors.
Lucy the coatimundi, a mammal closely related to raccoons often found in South America, was adopted after a stay in Lodi.
"I gave my personal cell [to Lucy's owner] and she's already texted me tons of pictures of the dogs, and cats and ferrets getting along with her," manager Megan Zayatz told Daily Voice.
The store opened around two years ago and Zayatz said it helped her continue her love of animals.
"I was catching newts and bugs outside since I was a kid," she said. "I had lizards, tarantulas, hamsters, rats, rabbits, birds, and then I advanced to reptiles when I was 15 or 16."
Many different reptiles can be found there, but the mammals make the store unique. NJ Exotic Pets is the only place in New Jersey that sells skunks as pets, Zayatz said.
"They make awesome pets," she said.
They also breed hairless guinea pigs on-site and have regular pigs too.
It's a lot of work to care for all the animals, but Zayatz said they also have cool customers who bring their pets back to visit.
It's important to teach customers who buy rare animals like Lucy how to care for them, because they are so unique.
"They need to be let out, they're too intelligent of an animal [to be kept caged]," Zayatz said. "If you train them right, they'll be a great pet."
MORE INFO: Visit NJ Exotic Pets on Facebook.
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