Photo by Joachim S. Müller via Flickr Creative Commons
Derek Nathaneal Castaneda was rendered unconscious and taken to the hospital in January after being attacked by the venomous, 18-inch Gila monster he kept illegally as a pet in his San Pedro home.
On Tuesday, the 34-year-old man was sentenced to three years of probation, a series of animal neglect classes, a year of AA meetings and fined $1,000 for possessing the potentially lethal reptile and a pair of rattlesnakes.
According to the City Attorney's Office, Castaneda -- on probation at the time of the attack for an earlier DUI case -- was convicted of unlawful possession of a native California reptile species, and the unlawful keeping of a wild reptile without a permit.
The Gila monster was taken to the Orange County Zoo. The snakes, illegal to possess without a permit, were reportedly euthanized.
Photo by Joe Utsler / CrazyUncleJoe via Flickr Creative Commons
March 8, 2012: The Los Angeles Zoo's newest exhibit, "the LAIR," opens to the public.
Los Angeles Zoo's newest Betty White/Slash-approved exhibit, the LAIR (Living Amphibian, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), is now taking visitors into its multi-habitat house devoted to reptile and amphibian conservation. Approximately 60 species of rare, unique, endangered, neon, venomous, bearded, scaled and flippered friends will inhabit the house.