January 8, 2016
” The baby’s dead! Our stupid snake got out in the middle of the night and strangled the baby!” While this may sound like a bad Hollywood comedy it is the harsh reality of those who own “so called” exotic pets. Some wild animals are just not meant to be tamed. I do not believe that people should be able to own exotic animals as pets. There is just too much of chance that they could snap and injure or even kill someone.
There are many other reasons why people should not own exotic pets. One of the reasons is compassion. Animals in general, even common animals, such as dogs, are meant to run and be free. The ability to be free is even more necessary for an exotic animal that grew in the wild without constraints. Can you imagine what it would be like for an exotic creature to be confined in a cage or a yard? Another reason to not own exotic animals as pets, is for the sake of maintaining the existence of the animals as well as their habitats. People believe that by breeding animals in captivity and then selling them will help the wild animal population by not capturing them to sell. In reality they only increase the demand for that particular animal which results in more of the animals being stolen from their natural habitats to meet the consumer demand. There are states that have laws outlawing the trade or owning of exotic animals but these laws are lax and hardly enforced.
When people think of exotic pets they think of harmless little things like cute little lemurs or other super cute and fluffy animals. They certainly do not expect a lion or a tiger. Despite the fact that the lions or tigers may be “domesticated,” this does not mean they are perfectly safe and harmless. They may act as if they are trained but that does not mean that the animals cannot snap and revert back into their original form of a wild predator. An example of this is the tragic accident of Roy Horn of the famous magic duo, Sigfried and Roy. In 2003, one of their famed trained white tigers bit Horn in the neck. Although Mr. Horn believes the animal’s act of biting him was to save him from a stroke Mr. Horn was suffering, the act of biting is still an instinctual act by the exotic animal.
The last and most important argument against exotic animals as pets is for public safety. Should a dangerous exotic pet ever escape it could be potentially tragic for the public and the animal or for both. The animal might injure someone and someone might mistakenly injure the animal. Some examples are, “in 2009, a 2-year old Florida girl was strangled by a 12-foot long Burmese python, a family pet that had gotten out of its aquarium.” and in Odessa, Texas a 4-year old was mauled by his aunt’s pet mountain lion who had reached through the wide gaps of its cage to reach the child.
Therefore, people should NOT be able to own exotic animals. They can be dangerous, unpredictable, and potentially fatal.
Constrictor snake incidents. Washington D.C.: The Humane Society, n.d. PDF.
Department, Odessa Police, Mark Sterkel, Odessa American, and Pet Mountain Lion Mauls Child ( PHOTO) BY JON VANDERLAAN Odessa American. “Pet mountain lion mauls child ( PHOTO).” Odessa American. N.p., 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.
Massarella, Linda. “New Siegfried and Roy doc will likely show horrific tiger attack.” NY Post. N.p., 22 Aug. 2016. Web.
Slater, Lauren. “Wild Obsession.” National Geographic Magazine Apr. 2014: n. pag. Print.