Jatin Patel has been raising these exotic animals for nine years near Slocomb, and he says it’s a lifestyle that's not fit for just anyone.
“Not the average person can do this, you got to understand the whole demeanor of the animal. You have to know everything about them before you get into it. It’s expensive because it’s something you can’t just do on a weekend project its worse than taking care of a kid.” Troy University Professor Jantin Patel said.
Patel says the animals bring his family closer together.
“It’s pretty cool when I’m not serving slurpees as the gas station or flipping pizza, I enjoy being with the animals.” Patel said.
Kim is a red tailed hawk but she's not a pet, she’s used for hunting purposes.
“Just about every day during hunting season can we go hunting, it’s a great way to spend time with the family and enjoy nature.” Patel said.
Patel releases the hawk, and the children help her find animals by doing a specific movement.
“Pull the vines then the squirrels fall down.” Jatin’s son Drew Patel said.
And when they aren't around the hawk, the Patels go to their African Serval sanctuary.
These animals are exotic cats that resemble leopards.
“They’re totally domesticated, I have one that sleeps with me.” Patel said.
Taking care of the servals isn't just a hobby for Patel. He rescues some of them, as well.
“It’s like a wildlife sanctuary, you know like alot of people want to buy exotic animals, and got them as babies, but when they grow up they can’t take care of them anymore so we'll take them and bring them in and take care of them.” Patel said.
The state of Alabama doesn’t require you to have a license to own an exotic animal.
However you must keep them outside of city limits.