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Home Up WILDLIFE AS PETS - NO!! GOV'T WILDLIFE AGENCIES

Wild Animals As Pets?... Why the Answer is Always No

  1. Young animals may seem tame but may become very aggressive and unpredictable as they get older.
  2. Captivity is not natural and is a constant stress to a wild animal.
  3. Wild animals carry many diseases that can be very harmful to people.
  4. Wild animals need to be examined by a veterinarian that has special knowledge and training in wildlife medicine.
  5. Wild animals need care by individuals knowledgeable about their specific needs (nutritional, behavioural, social, and environmental).


Wild Animals Do NOT Make Good Pets

from a handout by the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA)

What Is A Wild Animal?

A wild animal lives in natural environments and requires definite periods of conditioning and learning in the presence of its parents and peers. It has certain inborn behaviour patterns and also requires learned behaviour to survive in competitive natural environments.

Why Can't Humans Substitute for Natural Parents?

It is virtually impossible for a wild animal to adapt to traditional household living. It is also impossible for pet owners to influence behaviour patterns of wild animals or to predict when wild and often destructive behaviour will occur.

Do Wild Animals Transmit Disease?

A wild animal is especially dangerous in this regard, since an owner would have no way of knowing what diseases the animal had been exposed to in its natural environment. Diseases such as rabies can have extremely lengthy incubation periods, lasting several weeks or even several months.

Wild animals harbour parasites which can be lethal, especially to infants and young children. Internal parasites such as ascarid worms, tapeworms, flukes, and protozoa can cause debilitating and often fatal diseases in humans, while external parasites such as ticks and fleas transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, bubonic plague, and other serious diseases.

What Animals Do Make Good Pets?

A pet is a domesticated animal that is kept for pleasure rather than utility. Domesticated animals make good pets because they have been bred, many for thousands of years, to coexist with humans in a household setting. In fact, behaviour patterns which are especially appropriate for the domestic animal's existence in a human household are consciously selected by breeders. The following animals are recommended as pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, domestic mice, domestic rats, budgies (parakeets), canaries, cockatiels, doves, pigeons, domestic ducks and geese, and tropical fish.

What About Zoos and Aquariums

Zoos and aquariums were once places where disenchanted pet owners could unload their problem pets. Today, zoos and aquariums, through the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA), have established wildlife conservation as their highest priority. One way of increasing their efforts is to discourage the taking of animals from the wild by not accepting donations of pets.

Captive wild animals should be managed in a zoological park or aquarium by professional biologists and other specially trained persons.

Members of the AAZPA invite you to join them and learn about wild animals and the care provided them in zoological parks and aquariums.

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Home • Up • FIND A REHABILITATOR • I FOUND A WILD ANIMAL • CO-EXISTING WITH WILDLIFE • WHAT IS WILDLIFE REHAB? • FOR WILDLIFE REHABBERS • CATS AND WILDLIFE • NEWS ABOUT WILDLIFE • ZOONOTIC DISEASES • LIGHTER SIDE OF REHAB • LINKS • DONATE - SUPPORT TWRID

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Disclaimer:  The advice found on these pages is NOT intended as a do it yourself guide.  All native wildlife needs to be in the skilled hands of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator,  and any medical care must be provided by licensed veterinarians.

If you have an emergency with an injured wild animal, contact your local animal control or humane society for immediate assistance.  

This page last updated 11/27/2012 02:02 AM