Why Exotic Animals Should not Be Pets

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If you have ever thought about owning something unique, like a lion cub or tiger, maybe you should think about owning a dog instead. Hundreds of exotic animals die everyday, they are a potential health risk to humans, and many organizations are working to change or ban the pet trade. You do not want to be the reason another animal dies. So why exotic animals should not be pets?

Thousands of exotic animals become exotic pets. Exotic pets are non- domestic animals living as companions to humans. According to the National Geographic Society, (NGS), about five hundred exotic pets die each day in captivity and about 75% die within a year after being purchased. In 2015, slow lorises eating rice balls in captivity videos lead to wide-eyed primate poaching for pet trade. People demanded them for pets. Many animals do not survive capture and transport, but if they do, they are often distressed. Many become sick unable to walk, eat, or function like they would in the wild. If an exotic animal makes it long enough to be sold, it will more than likely not live much longer.

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Exotic animals are also considered a dangerous risk and health risk to humans. An animal has the potential to bite, kick, maul, strangle, or terrorize people and other animals. They are not cuddly for long. Animals are confined into small spaces and have little human interaction. They become more aggressive and territorial as they get older. They have the potential to cause serious injury or even kill those attacked. They may also spread disease including Herpes B and Salmonellosis. Herpes B is a virus carried in monkeys that is not harmful to them but fatal for humans. As monkeys grow older they become more aggressive and bite people. A bite from a monkey can be extremely painful and can cause permanent deformities. The bite can reach to your bone. Herpes B is spread through saliva. So once bitten, the saliva is transported to your bloodstream. Even them sneezing can cause you to catch Herpes B. Salmonellosis is a disease carried by reptiles that is spread through their feces. So when an owner does not wash their hands after handling a reptile or their waste and eat, they have a higher risk of consuming Salmonellosis. There are about 93,000 reports yearly of Salmonella from reptiles. Salmonellosis can lead to nausea, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, or even death. It is most common in young children and the elderly. If you do not want your parents, grandparents, or children to have this disease, I would rethink owning that iguana you wanted.

About 52% of the world’s wildlife has vanished in the past 40 years according to NGS. Organizations including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wild Aid, TRAFFIC, and the Wildlife Alliance have educated people for years and has rescued over thousands of animals from the pet trade. An International agreement signed by 183 governments, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), voted to limit or ban trade of many exotic animals looked at as pets. With their support and yours, millions of animal lives could be saved.

Everyday there are hundreds of exotic animals killed. Many should not be locked up in cages or small homes. The death rates increase drastically. They are dangerous to humans and other domestic animals, and a variety of organizations are helping to save exotic pets from the market. So if you ever want to own something unique, maybe own a ferret instead. 

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