Exotic creatures such as chimpanzees, snakes, kinkajous, and pythons’ macaws have won the hearts of animal lovers looking for companions. However, keeping exotic animals for pets could have hidden costs which can be a burden for both humans as well as animals. Wild animals have existed for thousands of years without human influence. They have evolved to survive in rugged, rough environments. They aren’t well-adapted to being with humans or in a home.

Why is it wrong to use an animal in the wild as an animal companion?

It’s impossible to provide the appropriate place for them to live in.

Wild animals have a variety of behavioral, social, and psychological requirements. Many people need to fulfill the requirements of wild animals as pets. Wild animals should be part of their species.

Apes are a particular issue.

Apes such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons are incredibly intelligent, sensitive, and highly social animals. Being our most close living relatives, they are fascinating and infant apes are enticing. This makes apes popular as entertainers for commercials, marketing shows, and even pets. But the popularity and beauty conceal the often brutal and risky practices commonly used to make apes docile to such appearances. When used as pets, animals can cause serious injuries when their instincts create fear, anger, or other strong reactions. (see AZA’s Program Animal Policy)

Removing them from the wild could endanger their species.

Parrots are among the most threatened birds because of the devastation caused by the trade in pets worldwide. The massive demand worldwide for these exotic pets has led to the illegal capture and trading of millions of animals, birds, and reptiles each year, most of which are killed when taken captive or transported.

You may get injured.

The care of wild animals as pets could be risky. Some can bite, scratch, or even attack the owner or children. The owners of animals are legally accountable for any damages caused by injuries, accidents, or diseases by the animals they care for. Finding new places for large, hard-to-handle animals can be complex, even impossible, especially since zoos generally cannot accommodate them.

You may be sick.

Wild animals can transmit diseases that can be fatal or dangerous to humans. The most common conditions are rabies, distemper herpes viruses and polio, salmonella, tuberculosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and bubonic plague. Wild animals are also home to parasites such as protozoa and intestinal worms.

It could be a violation of the law.

Several cities, counties, and state laws prohibit the possession of wild animals for pets.

What kinds of animals make excellent pets?

Domestic cats, dogs, and guinea pigs. Domestic mice and rats, domestic gerbils, ordinary hamsters, domestic rabbits, and domestic chinchillas.

Responsible for captive-bred parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, doves, and Pigeons.

Responsibly captive-bred reptiles, amphibians, and reptiles like red-footed tortoises, Lizards (bearded dragons, leopard geckos) as well as snakes (corn snakes, ball pythons, King snakes), and Frogs (White’s tree frog, ornate-horned frogs, and fire-bellied toad as well as the red-eyed tree frog).

Fish kept in captivity or taken from sustainable wild fish populations are great pets. Be sure to look for sustainability certification by the Marine Aquarium Council when purchasing tropical fish to add to your aquarium.

Go to a shelter.

Millions of animals and cats suffer destruction each year because they aren’t able to find homes. Directories of shelters such as PetFinder are great places to locate adoptable animals close to your home.


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