Exotic Pets Are Not Good Companions

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On Sunday (Oct. 16), a toddler in Texas was attacked by a pet mountain lion kept by his aunt and was later hospitalized. In September, an 80-year-old man in Ohio was almost killed by a 200-pound kangaroo at an exotic animal meet and greet. And in June, a Nebraska man was strangled to death by his pet boa constrictor. It is clear exotic pets are not good companions. They need special attention, housing, diet, and care that the average person will not offer. When in the wrong hands, these animals suffer because of bad attention and care. They also expose safety and health hazards to their owners and any individual getting into contact with them.

Over the past three years the popularity of exotic pets has grown tremendously. Many people are attracted to their beautiful and uncommon features. However, they don't realize the costs and attention needed for these animals. According to Finance 101 ' The cost of just buying an 'exotic' fish, for example the red arowana, is 3,000 to 50,000 dollars. This is not even considering the yearly expenses.' If this is the cost of owning a simple fish, imagine what other animals would cost. The people who purchase exotic pets without reliable research are several times more likely to not be able to afford them. Chinchilla Pros and Cons says 'Chinchillas are already stubborn to work with, and when you add the fact that they require a bath in special volcanic dust every other day, the prices start to soar. The average yearly cost is 3,000 dollars.' Exotic pets are nothing like dogs or cats. They need a fool proof cage, specific accessories, costly food, taming, protection from predators, and a lot of care. Since so many individuals give away their exotic pets, the cost for owning them just gets higher. According to Sarasota Jungle Gardens, they receive hundreds of telephone calls every year from exotic pet owners offering to give their beloved pets to them. What most do not know is that this 'free' pet is still very expensive to Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Most of the exotics require some kind of medical attention, and must be quarantined for up to six weeks, then they must be vaccinated for several diseases and placed on special diets. Jungle Gardens also has to pay for extra habitats, food, and constant care. No matter where the exotic animal ends up it will always be costly.

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Life in captivity often leads to pain and death for exotic pets. These animals can quickly suffer from malnutrition and constant stress. Snakes, treefrogs, iguanas, grasshoppers and geckos are only a few of the millions of creatures suffering and dying in the exotic pet trade. Some animals are kidnapped from their natural habitat and sold. Others are cruelly bred. Captivity changes the pet's physical behavior and places both their psychological and personal well-being at risk. According to PETA ' Parrots might have their beaks and feet taped and be stuffed into plastic tubes that can easily be hidden in luggage, and stolen bird and reptile eggs are concealed in special vests so that couriers can bypass X-ray machines at airports.' Those are only a few examples of the horrible treatment these pets endure. Baby turtles have been taped so that they are trapped inside their shells and then shoved into tube socks, and infant pythons have been shipped in CD cases. For every animal who makes it to the store, countless others die along the way. Even the ones who survive transport suffer. Several PETA investigations have shown the horrible things the animals endure. One undercover investigation in U.S. Global Exotics led to seizure of 27,000 animals. All the animals were crammed together in cages with poor ventilation, little food, and no basic care. PETA says “More than 400 iguanas (half of whom died) had been left in shipping crates for about two weeks without food or water because of a canceled order. Hundreds of dead animals were discovered during the raid, and more than 6,000 died afterward because they were too ill to be saved.” When customers with no experience purchase an exotic pet, they typically aren’t aware of the hardships the animals endured. They also may not understand the animals needs which could lead to death or abandonment. There is clearly no happy ending in the exotic pet trade.

Exotic pets are dangerous, and deadly. Out of 1600 attacks, 75 of them result in a human being killed. Not only are these animals dangerous to humans in the wild but keeping them as pets is absurd and extremely dangerous. However, some disagree, according to an article on Pet Helpful “Almost all types of pets bite. They can only be a threat if they are large”. However, that is incorrect. Typical pets are domesticated and trained to not bite, while exotic pets are not. Also, the small black widow spider is under 2 inches full size and kills seven people a year. Across the U.S. exotic pets have escaped from their enclosures and have attacked humans and other animals. Most exotic animals also carry diseases, that can be harmful to humans. According to Born Free many exotic animals are carriers of diseases, such as herpes B, monkey pox, and salmonella. About 90 percent of all reptiles carry salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control says that '93,000 salmonella cases caused by reptiles are reported every year in the United States.'. Also, 90 percent of all macaque monkeys are infected with the herpes B virus, which harmless to monkeys but fatal in humans. Sickness definitely isn't the only harmful effect of an exotic pet. Most exotic pets are caught from the wild, this can cause their natural instincts to appear at any moment. Aspca says 'These animals are time bombs waiting to explode.' These outbursts can lead to injury and even death. According to Pet Helpful 'Big cats, venomous snakes, elephants, wolfdogs, large constrictor snakes, old world monkeys, and alligators are only a few of millions of dangerous species.' In 2009 Charla Nash was attacked by her friend's beloved pet chimpanzee 'Travis'. When Charla and her friend Sandra attempted to put Travis in his cage, he attacked Charla and mauled her face and hands. Exotic Pets are clearly not worth risk.

It is clear exotic pets are not good companions. They need constant care and expenses many owners cannot provide. So many exotic animals suffer when in the wrong hands and they are extremely dangerous to anyone around them. Next time you consider purchasing an exotic pet remember the time, costs, suffering and risks caused by these wild animals.

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Exotic Pets Are Not Good Companions. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/exotic-pets-are-not-good-companions/
“Exotic Pets Are Not Good Companions.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/exotic-pets-are-not-good-companions/
Exotic Pets Are Not Good Companions. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/exotic-pets-are-not-good-companions/> [Accessed 18 Apr. 2024].
Exotic Pets Are Not Good Companions [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 Apr 18]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/exotic-pets-are-not-good-companions/

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