Why Can’t Wild Animals Be Pets?

Published - 15 May 2022, Sunday
  • Wild Animals

Wild animals look so cute, playing in their natural habitat, looking for something to eat, and otherwise doing natural activities. The right video can make a grizzly bear look friendly and cuddly, but it’s not a good idea to own one.

In fact, it’s outright dangerous and illegal. Yet, many people purchase exotic animals – though not usually grizzly bears – and bring them home, expecting to have a loving pet. Whether it’s a polar bear or a bird, there are numerous reasons why wild animals should not be brought home and kept as a pet.

Not Able to Live in Homes

Wild animals are not used to living in homes and, in many cases, will not be happy or comfortable. Most animals will wander across wide areas to find food or shelter, so they’re not used to being kept in a small cage or a large house. They’ll need space to move to feel free and happy. They’re also not used to furniture, so owners can forget about keeping the antique desk or brand new chair in good shape for long. Then, there are the bathroom issues. Where is the animal going to go to the bathroom? Wild animals are not potty trained, and many cannot be potty trained. This means messes throughout the house that will need to be cleaned promptly when they happen.

Can Endanger the Population

When wild animals are taken out of the wild and sold to buyers, it contributes to declining populations. Capturing animals to be used as pets can cause populations in the wild to decline drastically and for the species to become threatened or extinct. While there may still be some kept as pets, it’s not always easy to repopulate a declining species, so once the ones kept as pets pass away, there may no longer be any left in the wild or in captivity.

Can be Dangerous to Own

Some animals are incredibly dangerous to own. Even smaller monkeys and apes may seem like great pets, but if they are scared or aren’t cared for properly, they can become aggressive. Owners of exotic animals like lions or other big cats, bears, apes, alligators, and other animals have been killed or severely injured in the past. There have also been children attacked or killed by the animals, as the animals are still wild and unpredictable. Is it worth it for a child or adult to be killed just so someone can own an exotic animal?

Could Carry Potentially Fatal Diseases

Wildlife often carries diseases. They may not even be affected by the disease but can still carry it. Some of the diseases can be passed on to humans and may be deadly. It may not be possible to vaccinate against these diseases or cure them, and the owner may not even realise the animal has a disease when it’s brought home. Still, having wildlife in the home can lead to humans catching rabies, the plague, and other highly contagious and highly fatal diseases. The only way to truly prevent this is by not owning exotic animals and by having all pets in the home fully vaccinated.

Illegal in Many Places

Along with all of the other reasons to avoid wild animals as pets, it may also be illegal. Each state does have its own laws about the ownership of wildlife, though there are some pets that are illegal throughout the United States. It is important for owners to make sure they are not breaking the law by owning a pet. Those who do want an exotic pet will want to look into permits for rehabilitation that may be available and learn more about the care needed for the pet – in many cases, it’s going to be too much work to own a wild animal, even if it is legal with a permit.

Thinking about getting a wild animal as a pet? There is a reason why many animals are not kept as pets. Dogs, cats, hamsters, and other small animals are domesticated, so they don’t have a lot of the problems associated with keeping wildlife as a pet. If a more exotic pet is desired, look into some of the rarer breeds of dogs or get involved with wildlife conservation. It may be enough to volunteer with wildlife instead of bringing one into the home and keeping it as a pet. ​​​​​​​

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