South students share about their exotic pets

Nish Asokan, staff reporter

Just as students across South prove themselves to be multi-dimensional with their participation in a range of activities, the student body’s adventurous spirit also applies to pet ownership.

Junior Celia Grabil-Sulski owns a turtle, two hawks, a pair of snakes, a couple of dogs, multiple pigeons, a group of starlings and several fish. All the animals live either inside the house or in the backyard, according to Grabil-Sulksi.

“We have a grass hawk and a red tail hawk,” Grabil-Sulksi said. “[To own them], you need a hawking license and you have to take a test to get that.”

 According to Grabil-Sulski, every year, the family gets up to two hawks to care of in the fall through the early spring. They then release them and get more to take care of for the next year.

According to Grabil-Sulski, when she was really young, she once opened up a freezer and a dead frozen animal fell on her and startled her. Later, she would learn that it was meant to be food for the hawks.

Grabil-Sulski explains that the animals seem to have grown fond of each other overtime. Even her dogs get along with the king snake and bull snake.

“It’s fun to walk around and have a bunch of animals everywhere and not the typical ones you would think,” Grabil-Sulksi said.

Another student at South with an atypical pet is sophomore Alex Rotman who owns a cockatiel named AJ.

To take care of the cockatiel, Rotman gives her food and water every day and monitors AJ’s intake to make sure it is set at a good pace.

“She balances on one foot and uses the other to hold food [up] to her mouth,” Rotman said.

According to Rotman, some cockatiels can be taught how to replicate sounds; however AJ was not because she was past the prime learning age.

“She has a keen sense of vibration and can feel whenever a car is pulling in the driveway, and she lets us know by squawking,” Rotman said.

Freshman Christina Kim considers herself to be an atypical pet owner ever since she bought a ball python.

“It’s called a ball python because it wraps around in a ball more than most snakes,” Kim said.

According to Kim, who has taken care of her snake for three years, she has had to change its water daily and feed it frozen mice about every ten days.

“When it’s hungry it mistakes human fingers for food, and we’ve been bitten a few times,” Kim said.

According to Kim, the snake is nocturnal, so it moves around mostly at night and sleeps during the day.

“It is interesting when people see it they’re like, ‘oh my god you have a snake, that’s so cool,’” Kim said.