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The Zoo Story
Elizabeth Newman
November 20, 2006
Mikki Moore's love of animals is no croc
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November 20, 2006

The Zoo Story

Mikki Moore's love of animals is no croc

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"SNAKES CAN go a long time without eating," says Nets center Mikki Moore, the Steve Irwin of the NBA. "All I have to do is feed them some mice before I leave." For Moore, that means about two rats before every road trip. His reptile collection includes a Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor (named Dollar Bill), an Albino Burmese Python (Peaches), two corn snakes ( Outkast and nameless)--and the star of Moore's three-bedroom New Jersey town house, a two-year-old spectacled caiman named Boscoe (above). "Everybody who comes over wants me to take him out of his tank so they can play with him," Moore says.

The foot-and-a-half-long Boscoe, whose species is cousin to the crocodile, can also stand some time alone--so long as he's left with about 100 nervous goldfish in his tank. But additional animals are on the way: three more caimans, as well as a pit bull. ( Moore also has a Yorkie.) Boscoe will grow to about 2 1/2 feet in his six-foot-long tank but, says Moore, "as soon as he gets aggressive enough to take off a finger, I'm shipping him to the Everglades."

The 7-foot Moore, in his second stint with the Nets, has maintained a brood of beasts--a piranha here, a rottweiler there--throughout his nine-year, seven-team career (it all started with a garter-snake collection as a kid in South Carolina), and his enthusiasm is contagious. Last season with the Sonics he invited teammate Robert Swift, who had a few snakes of his own, to his house. "I saw how into them Mikki was, and that made me want more," says Swift. "I went out and got eight pythons." Moore's menagerie is set for now, but he is looking for help in naming that six-foot-long corn snake (left). That's where you, gentle reader, come in.

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