“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals love them, those who respect their nature and wish to let them live normal lives love them more.” – Unknown
While growing up we all gained knowledge of wildlife from visiting zoos, aquariums, circuses and even local pet stores. instilled in us at a very young age is the love for animals, and a connection to these exotic species in artificial habitats. This leads us to loose the connection from nature, and view these exotic species as human owned and the fascination and love for wildlife gets confused with a desire for ownership.
In this post i will be discussing the Exotic pet trade in the united states and how the natural love that is instinctive to humans to protect biodiversity becomes a selfish matter of ownership. The exotic pet trade is inclusive of many species ranging from African hoofed animals, very large predatory mammals, primates, marsupials, rare reptiles, and birds to prosimians. The first problem with the care for exotic pets comes from the loose legislation surrounding the entire industry. Although there are many certified care takers, this does not mean they can properly care for these animals.
within the united states there are currently 5 states which do not require a license to purchase exotic animals such as a big cat. This can include lions, cheetahs, tigers, leopards, etc. In the areas that do require a license, they are extremely easy to obtain, and a cheep payment. Once you have this permit, where could one possibly purchase a big cat cub? you would think that this would be difficult, but sense humans have control over ever other species it is not at all. these species can be purchased through breeders or even more surprising, AT WHOLESALE COST AT ANIMAL AUCTIONS. in the united states we actually have auctions as a result of loose and even, non existing regulations. Currently there are more tigers living in private residences in the united states, than in the wild. Loving an animal should mean wanting to keep them wild, not keep them locked inside your house miserable and taking away their true nature as a predator.
When these cubs are small and cuddly, yes they are adorable and fun to have in your residence, But what happens when they grow up and turn into an apex predator? Many times they will be sold for a decent check, abandoned, or euthanized because the owner didnt realize the full potential of this creature. Most of these purchases are impulse buys, and the light legislation is what leads to the ignorance inside the exotic pet trade
There are thought to be only 3.900 wild cats left in the wild, not just in the united states, but everywhere in the wild