Wild animals are becoming increasingly popular as exotic pets. People have taken a fancy to owning a big cat or a grizzly bear – and that too without proper knowledge of exotic pet care. While it may seem to be a great idea at first, keeping wild animals as pets is far from being just a fashion statement.
Wild animals should be treated with tremendous caution. If these animals are not handled with proper care – then this could lead to disaster. There are thousands of cases were owners have been mauled by lions or trampled by elephants. Thus, it is advisable to let these animals stay where they belong – in the wild. Only very highly trained experts should ever interact with wild animals.
Many places do not allow people to own certain species of animals. Therefore, it might be against the law to hold wild animals in captivity. Anyone who is caught committing such a crime will be charged and taken to court. Compliance with the law is a much neglected component of exotic pet care.
Below is a list of certain animals that you should never ever consider to be exotic pets:
1) Lions, tigers and other big cats: These felines are extremely territorial and wary of strangers. They are masters of disguise and are adept at sneaking up on their prey. They are very difficult to tame as they retain of their wild instincts in captivity. One must be an expert in animal behaviour to interact with these creatures. In addition, these animals are very high maintenance and require large amounts of meat and excellent veterinary care.
2) Elephants: These have been known to be tamed successfully in some parts of the world. However, the people who train these giants have been doing so for generations. It is impossible to train an elephant if you do not know how to! Male elephants get extremely aggressive during mating season and have been known to destroy entire villages in their rage. In addition, elephants require a large enclosure and very large quantities of foods per day.
3) Poisonous snakes and large constrictors: The bite of a venomous snake can be fatal. Reticulated pythons and anacondas can swallow a small human. These facts are enough to demonstrate that these reptiles are never to be mistaken for exotic pets. Every year, snakes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths throughout the world. The only way to reverse the effects of snake venom is an antivenin. In addition, if antivenin is not administered within a few minutes from the time of the snake bite, then this almost always leads to death. Even the most proficient of snake handlers have been bitten. Safety is perhaps the most critical aspect of exotic pet care.
4) Crocodiles and alligators: These have said to terrorise the waters of the earth since the time of the dinosaurs. One these animals latch onto something, they never ever let go. They are notorious for their lightning speed, their unpredictability and the dreaded ‘death roll’. The fiercest of carnivores also stay away from these reptiles.
5) Wolves and foxes: Do not think that these animals are just as obedient and loyal as dogs. Wolves and foxes rely on their wild instincts to survive in the wild – thus their behaviour is predominantly governed by these instincts. They can be very challenging to tame and to control.
Also, remember that there is a tremendous difference between a teddy bear and a grizzly bear. A grizzly can knock out a human with just one blow. Respect wild animals and if at all you seek proximity with them – then visit your local zoo. Exotic pet care is all about awareness.