Under the Dome

Wild animal bill prompts a wild moment at NC legislature

Things got a little, well, wild in the wee hours Thursday as lawmakers in the state House staggered to the crossover deadline – a self-imposed mandate to pass legislation (or not) and get the session moving.

Some goofy moments surfaced as the lawmakers debated a bill about – this is true – wild animals. The legislation aims to keep many in the public from coming into contact with certain animals, like bears and tigers. It would pass in a 79-33 vote.

But close to 1:30 a.m., as the vote neared, questions arose – first about whether snakes used in religious ceremonies would be exempt. Another legislator asked about “birds of prey.” The questions spawned rounds of giggling.

That’s about the time Rep. Pat Hurley, a Randolph County Republican, rose to offer an amendment making sure small monkeys weren’t off limits.

She had trouble holding it together. At one point, in an attempt to calm herself down, she blurted out: “This is serious!”

The audio, from the General Assembly, includes some weird distortions that add to the silliness. Listen in: