Facts on Why People Keep Wild Animals As Pets

Some people love housing exotic animals, but there are certainly disadvantages to doing this.
Some people love housing exotic animals, but there are certainly disadvantages to doing this. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

By definition, exotic animals are not domesticated animals. This means they are unpredictable. The behavior of an exotic animal can be altered due to life cycles or perhaps due to the seasons or other things that people don’t understand, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. When kept as pets, it is not unheard of for the exotic pet to seriously injure its owner or even kill him.

Seems Like a Good Idea

People who are intrigued with the idea of owning exotic animals but know nothing about what their upkeep, care, maintenance and housing entails may still buy these creatures, which is a poor decision, for the owner and the pet because the person doesn't comprehend what she is getting herself into. Some people become exotic pet owners because they have a passion about animals and want to care for them. They have good intentions, but they may not be realistic. Perhaps the person thinks it will be fun. But it’s not necessarily fun. It is hard work and it is expensive. You will be on duty 24/7 because you will be the only one who can clean up after the animal, particularly big cats and other large, potentially dangerous animals. No one else is going to do it for you. Plus, you must feed the animal and provide medical attention. Most vets can’t care for big cats and if you find one that can, it is going to be very expensive. If you choose to keep big cats you may end up isolating yourself from your family and friends even though that wasn’t your intention. Some people do not want to be around exotic animals, because they fear them, with good reason. Parrots are exotic birds and many people buy them because the birds are beautiful and interesting and can talk. A parrot is certainly a conversation piece when guests come to your house. However, people don’t realize that parrots are a lifelong responsibility. A bird can live 60 to 80 years. Do you have the finances or lifestyle that enables you to care for a bird? Are you willing to spend time with the bird, who is extremely social and wants companionship and needs to be let out of his cage for a couple of hours each day?

Your Own Amusement?

When you confine an exotic animal, it may be for your own amusement or needs. However, this confinement makes the animals feel tense and anxious. It also can be argued that exotic pet owners are kind, compassionate, dedicated people who love and care for their animals and have the right to house them.

Indications That Captivity is Not the Place for Exotic Animals

One telling sign that exotic animals are not to be kept in captivity and especially not in someone’s home or back yard is that breeding rarely occurs under these circumstances. To meet the needs of the market, animal dealers must take exotic animals from their home land and transport them to a land that they are unfamiliar with. When this happens, it disrupts the ecosystems from where they came from and to where they are taken, particularly if they manage to get loose or are purposely set loose.


People may want exotic animals just because they are exotic and unusual. Not everyone has one or wants one, but you will definitely be noticed if you have exotic creatures in your home. However, some owners discover that they can’t begin to meet the needs of an exotic animal and then they’re really in a predicament. Zoos won’t take them, and there are few places that take in exotic animals. Sometimes owners let the animals loose, which is cruel to the animal because it does not know how to fare on his own in the habitat. It also is dangerous to people in the area.

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