The social media app TikTok has censored popular animal content creator Rico Exotic for “violating applicable laws” by posting his home being raided by police over his grivet monkey.
Exotic has nearly 2 million followers on the platform.
The 22-year-old, whose real name is Eric (his last name is not public for privacy reasons), just bought his first home in Euclid over the summer. He maintains that he spoke to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and state Department of Fish and Wildlife before he bought the house and that they had told him the primate was fine.
However, as his popularity on TikTok began to skyrocket and he approached two million followers, law enforcement began harassing him over his unusual pets — which he fondly refers to as his “kin.”
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His wholesome and viral vlogs are typically about his day-to-day life with his rescue raccoon, grivet, ring-tailed lemur, and coatimundi.
On November 21, law enforcement and the ODA raided his home and informed him that he either needs to leave the state or they will be seizing his monkey — meaning the primate would likely be euthanized.
**People who wish to donate to help him move to a state that supports freedom and save not only his monkey, but others as well, can do so here or here. Story continues below.**
Eric filmed the raid on his security cameras and posted them to TikTok.
@ricoexoticReply to @cnn0ntiktok I don’t think people seeing this part♬ original sound – Ricoexotic
In response, the platform banned him permanently from posting on his account — though most of the videos remained active. They also removed one of the videos of the raid.
In messages from the platform provided to the Gateway Pundit, TikTok said that he has been censored for “violating applicable laws.” They did not specify what laws were broken by posting the footage.
Eventually, TikTok caved and reinstated his account — but would not restore the viral video of the raid.
The animal-loving social media star was born in Cleveland, in what he has described as a “gang and drug-infested neighborhood.”
“I’ve seen 5 homicides with my own eyes , My childhood was not only just me fearing for my life on a daily basis but, protecting myself from bullies and other children who teased me for not fitting in. Over time through pressure, I was force to became a product of my environment for my own protection. My father was taken away from me and my family when I was at the age of seven due to incarceration,” Eric wrote in his GoFundMe fundraiser description. “Shortly after that I started losing close friends at the age of 13 to gang violence. Experiencing the hardship and violence around me sadly cause me to develop PSTD.”
Eric explained that during this time, the only thing that brought him peace and happiness was helping animals.
“They give me a sense of hope and purpose. I know that caring of wildlife is very dangerous, but it is something I am very passionate about. Animals are more afraid of us then we are of them. They are hopeless and helpless in a world trying to kill them — which is how I felt as a child,” he wrote.
Now, Eric is teaming up with SPARTN primate rescue to relocate to West Virginia and create a new monkey rescue facility.
@spidermonkeywinstonPutting monkeys first with @ricoexotic #monkeysoftiktok #fypシ #spidermonkey #Monkeys♬ original sound – SpiderMonkeyWinston?
“When regulations and laws aren’t clear, it leaves room for discrimination and issues. Rico, Mike and hundreds of other Animal households across the US are at risk in the same way. Sadly, most of the animals affected lose their lives as a result! They are euthanized to test for diseases that have never been documented as an issue in the US!” Michael Robison, owner and founder of SPARTN told Gateway Pundit.
Today we add Mike to the household…
Plus, we are helping Eric (RicoExotic) save his house! He worked to get his own place, self made! Now the system is trying to take it!
Today 100% of funds raised go to Eric! https://t.co/0fq13tIuIv pic.twitter.com/VlK1F73VwR
— Michael Robison (@MichaelRobison) November 27, 2021
Mike the grivet monkey will be staying with Robison and SPARTN until they can work out a move.
“All I care about is the well-being of the animals… that they are safe, happy and cared for! I will do anything I can for the best of my animals,” Eric told the Gateway Pundit.