The appeal of owning a wild animal can be great. After all, who hasn’t wanted their very own tiger to protect their home, or a pet monkey to play with? We see them in the zoo and imagine befriending them and showing off our exotic pal to awe-stricken friends and family. As alluring as that may sound, there are a number of reasons why trying to domesticate a wild animal is not a good idea.
1. They Eventually Grow Up
The majority of wild animals are acquired as infants, when they are small and adorable. But, as they get older and grow into adulthood, not only are they not as cute, but they become more aggressive and harder to manage (they are wild by nature after all). This is usually the moment that most people realize they have bitten more than they can chew and decide to release the animal into the wild. The problem is, these animals have not learned the necessary skills needed to survive in the wild, such as hunting for food or protecting themselves from predators.
2.Wild Animals Can Harbor Diseases
Many wild animals, like raccoons, can carry rabies and never show any symptoms. Other diseases that wild animals can transmit to humans include the Herpes B virus, Salmonella and Ebola. According to the Center for Disease Control, wild reptiles and amphibians infect tens of thousands of people with salmonella every year.
3. They Are Hard To Care For
Most people who decide to get a wild animal are not prepared to handle the amount of necessary work needed to care for them. These animals have specialized diets that are essential to keeping them healthy. Many owners of large wild animals like tigers and bears, may not be able to provide the ten pounds of raw meat that is needed every day. As a result, wild animals suffer from malnutrition and develop illnesses and diseases. Wild animals also require more space than the owner can usually provide. When the animal is regulated to small enclosures, they become frustrated and bored, leading to extreme mental distress. Imagine having to live your life out in a room the size of your bathroom.
4. They Are A Danger To Humans
Besides the diseases that these animals can carry and transmit, they also pose a very real physical danger. It doesn’t matter that you cared for them since they were an infant, they are wild by nature and often lash out. Domestication of an animal is a process that takes hundreds of years within an animal species. Bringing an animal, whose natural habitat is a jungle or forest, into your home will not change its instinct to hunt and kill. There is also the possibility that your wild pet may escape its enclosure, thus not only putting you and your family in danger, but all your neighbors.
There have been numerous reports of people being mauled by pet tigers, bears and monkeys and even strangled by large pet snakes. Wild animals should only be handled by trained professionals.