Exotic pets are animals that are wild captured or bred from wild captured animals. Most exotic pets, while cute and cuddly when young, mature into their wild natures. They can become very aggressive as adults. Because these animals were raised in captivity, they don’t have the skills to survive if returned to the wild. Sadly, many of them, endangered species included, are euthanized as they are dangerous to keep.
Many exotic pets such as monkeys, chimpanzees, large wild cats, etc. are acquired through the illegal pet trade. Poachers in the animals’ native habitats kill the mothers, capture the young and sell them to unscrupulous vendors. Poaching and selling many exotic animals is illegal in most countries. But in spite of the risk of being caught and facing charges, cruel people continue the practice. And it will go on as long as there is a demand from the public for exotic animals.
Some smaller exotic animals such as squirrels are found in backyards and gardens, perhaps injured or orphaned. Sometimes, even though hand raised, they can be returned to the wild. If you find such a creature, please contact your local shelter or wildlife sanctuary as they will be able to care for the animal.
Small common exotic pets such as lizards, small snakes, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, iguanas and some birds are purchased from licensed breeders.
Many U.S. States and other countries require special licensing in order to own certain exotic pets. It’s important to check with local authorities to find out if it is legal to own an exotic pet where you live.
Exotic pets require special housing, food and other care. Unless you are knowledgeable about the care of these animals, please don’t keep them as pets.
Consider whether the animal is from endangered species and please don’t support the illegal trade in exotics.
by Beverly Armstrong
How would you like to live in a cage
That was just about ten feet square.
With no toys to play with and nothing to do —
Just you and a bed and a chair?
Oh, sure you’d be fed (the same thing each day)
You’d have water (unless they forgot)
And since you would never be going outside
You wouldn’t get cold, or too hot.
But oh, you’d be lonely just sitting alone
With no one to talk to all day.
You’d remember the trees, and the grass and the breeze,
The places where you used to play.
You’d remember your friends, you’d remember the sky,
And games and strawberries and sun,
And you know you could never go skating again
Or go swimming, or ride bikes, or run.
You’d get mad and scream and throw things around,
You’d kick and you’d pound on the wall,
And your owners would scold you,
And say to themselves,
“He isn’t a nice pet at all!”
The more you got mad, the less they would like you,
The less they’d remember to care
About if you had water or if you got fed
Or if you were lonely in there.
And then you would know what it’s like to be kept
As a pet when you’re meant to be free,
And you’d listen when wild things are trying to say
“Please Don’t Make A Pet Out Of Me!”