Wild Animals As Pets - Wildlife Rescue
The Importance of Protecting the Wildlife
The word wildlife not only relates to all non-domesticated animals like bison, fox and coyotes, but also other forms of undomesticated life like vegetation, fungi and microorganisms. They collectively work at maintaining the ecological system without which human life wouldn’t exist.
This is the main reason why wildlife needs to be protected because different species are inter-connected through food webs. Even the loss of animals that don’t have much of an economical or cultural loss can affect other more prominent wildlife.
Wildlife has to be protected even for research sakes because about 50% of drugs in the US originated from some plant, animal or microbial organism. Besides, it’s better using natural instead of artificial sources for research for more effective wildlife conservation.
Wildlife is a source of income in some places like Africa where tourists get to see African animals in their natural habitats. This is ecotourism which where wildlife and their habitats have to be taken care of at least for tourism sake.
Not many know that various animals are also indicators for other environmental problems, which in turn benefits wildlife conservation. For example, there was once a loss of bald eagles and peregrine falcons, which in act alerted scientists of DDT toxicity in the air which would have been unnoticed for years if not for these birds.
Of course, wildlife has to be protected from getting extinct. You want your future generations to see at least some wild animals, which is possible only if today’s existing wildlife is taken good care of.
It provides a valuable learning experience to students of all ages today and in the future. Inefficient or the absence of wildlife conservation only leads to teachers with fewer educational resources to work with.
So you see, whether you know it or not, wildlife and its conservation is an important part of everyday life. These many reasons prove why wildlife conservation is necessary and important, and can have powerful and direct repercussions on the lives of people, plant and animal life around the world.
Wild Animals as Pets - Legal and Ethical Issues
Keeping wild animals as pet may be exciting but should be something done after the appropriate planning and research. There’s so much involved in keeping a wild animal as pets like these legal and ethical problems.
You have to first find out the ethical issues related with and are aware of the potential problems that may arise while keeping a wild animal as a pet. You also have to find out more about the related laws because it’s not legal to keep the wild animal you find on your camping trip as a pet.
Illegal pet trade
There’s a huge spike in the popularity of keeping wild animals as pets, and people who breed captive wildlife for their pet trade, thanks to the internet. Anyone can easily browse through a range of wildlife like monitors and kinkajous to keep as pets. This pet trade is illegal and black market trading where wild animals are removed from their natural habitats and smuggled to other countries in exchange for money.
Spread of unusual diseases
However these unusual pets bring with them unusual diseases. Veterinarians don’t know much about the diseases that can be transmitted to humans through these animals. Even a small animal can transmit a potentially dangerous disease through their bite.
Some diseases are transmitted through their secretions. This is why veterinarians feel that the best way to prevent the transmission of these exotic diseases by preventing these species from entering the country and the pet industry in the first place.
Another problem is that owners may not be able to meet the animal’s nutritional, social behavioural and housing requirements. The pet may also be inappropriate to keep as a pet because of their aggression and chances of transmitting diseases to other pets or humans.
This is why most owners tend to abandon these wildlife pets that look cute and lovable when small, but are difficult to manage once they mature. The insufficient space to house these abandoned animals leads to most of these animals ending up being euthanatized.
Lack of appropriate veterinary care
While this surge in popularity for captive wildlife has created a demand for veterinary care, many veterinarians are uncomfortable interacting with them because some animals can seriously injure or even kill them or their staff.
So the difficulty in finding veterinarians is another problem related to keeping wild animals as pets. The only option is for veterinarians uncomfortable with working with wildlife animals should refer their clients to experienced veterinarians.
Possible illnesses and death
Besides, there’s a possibility of the animal getting stressed in captivity due to incorrect care and the capture, which can lead to illnesses and possible death. Sometimes these wild animals may escape because of unsafe and incorrect conditions to end up as lethal predators and a danger to the neighbourhood to cause serious damage or death. The owner will be charged if the animal harms or kills anyone.
You also need to get the required permits to keep a wild animal as a pet. Don’t rely on whatever the pet shop salesperson says. Contact your local conservation authority to ensure the animal is legal in the area and find out what permits you need to buy, transport and posses the animal.
List of Wild Animals That Are Becoming Domesticated Pets
Here are 9 wild animals that are popularly getting domesticated and loved by their owners.
It was in 1959 that a Soviet geneticist started exploiting the possibility of domesticating foxes by breeding them. The same work was continued in Siberia at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics 5 decades later, and after a few generations of attempts, the foxes at the institute act liked dogs.
Though they require a bit more work and effort, it’s now safe to bring home a fox as a pet. However you can’t get a fox as a pet just by visiting the animal shelter they cost at least $8,000 and it’s only after you are approved by the institute importer can you buy one.
While wallabies are increasingly popular as pets in Australia, owners should know their associated differences. They have weird habits like salivating, licking paws and regurgitating food, and need a large and secure yard to run and hide in. So you should be able to distinguish between the animal’s normal and troublesome behaviour before getting one home.
First make sure it’s legal to have capybaras as a pet in your area. Though these large, intelligent rodents are indeed caring and rewarding as pets, they are expensive to maintain.
They need not only shelter, but also a swimming pool and their food can get expensive. They have only recently been domesticated, which is why they still have strong survival instincts, which is why they may occasionally bite if they feel frightened.
Domesticated skunks are raised in captivity, and permitted in only 17 states. There’s no fear of getting sprayed by them because they are de-scented. They are on overall affectionate, active and curious animals which may however get destructive with their long claws if left alone for long without any stimulation.
They have to be kept indoors because they don’t’ know how to forage for food like cats and dogs and don’t know how to find their way home.
Axolotls are growing popular as pets, more for observation and not play. They are a type of Mexican salamander with delicate skin that has to be handled gently. This is why they are best reared alone in large, cool tanks with a gravel bottom.
These animals can live up to 10-15 years if you are careful about the water quality and diet. And what are special about them are their amazing regenerative skills where they quickly heal, and can even re-grow limbs.
While these cat-like animals have been pets in Africa and Europe since the middle ages to control rodents, it’s only recently that they have grown popular with Asian and US exotic pet lovers.
They like the pet because they have grown social, sweet and easy to care after domestication. While they don’t need extra space to run around and release energy, be careful with them around birds and small rodents as though domesticated, they may not ignore their predatory instincts.
Fennec foxes are lovable pets with big ears and bright eyes, and as long as you have the right vaccines and permits, are allowed in most places. Though popular pets, they are still wild.
They should be kept in locked cages when unsupervised, because they love digging and are great escape artists. Besides, being nocturnal animals, they may disturb some owners’ sleep.
You need a permit and extra space to own this exotic animal that otherwise makes an affectionate and fun pet. They need tall, vertical spaces and sleeping boxes with space to fly to feel comfortable and at home because they natural habitat is tree hollows.
You may have to buy two of them as they enjoy socializing and may end up lonely without a partner. They are best kept out of bedrooms because they are vocal and nocturnal in nature.
These cute cats are naturally found in African grasslands and are true wild creatures. This is why it’s challenging keeping them as pets. They keep spraying, hunting, climbing and jumping in your home, just as they do outdoors. So it’s not actually advised to have them as pets unless you have the patience, experience and space to handle them.
Can I have a wild dog as a pet?
While dogs and cats are domesticated animals, there’s a difference in having a wild dog as a pet. This is because between wild and domestic animals lies animals which can be tamed but not domesticated.
They are adapted to live with humans, eat their food and benefit from them, but this is only a behavioural change that occurs in a single animal’s lifespan. There are no genetic changes so all other animals are still wild animals, as in the case of wild dogs.
They generally end up in rescue facilities, mainly because of their owners’ unrealistic expectations. They may also end up mistreated because of improper training and socialization skills. Though there are groups that encourage their ownership, some organizations don’t consider wild animals to be suitable pets.
Like any exotic pet, you should find out if it’s legal to have a wild dog as a pet in your area before considering adopting or buying one. You may need to get some permits and enclosure requirements to keep a wild dog as a pet.
Though there are no licensed vaccinations for wild dogs, veterinarians and wild dog advocates that off-label domestic canine vaccinations can do just as well. However do remember that if your dog does bite someone, your dog may get euthanized because the government treats the dog as if it wasn’t vaccinated.
As its not easy domesticating wild dogs, a better option for a rare breed dog is to look for an endangered domesticated dog breed you like. Anyway, wild animals are better left in the wild, unless the species has to be saved. It’s only then that they have to be kept in captivity, that too by licensed and qualified conservationists.
Wild dogs can get destructive, especially when confined to the house because of their natural tendency to dig. This is why you have to deliberately socialize and train them to ensure they adjust to the modern world. They are also born escape artists, which is why they make suitable pets only for people who can spend time with them.
They are better adopted as pups to become pets where you can expose them to different people, situations and locations to prevent them from getting fearful and skittish, and lead to possible biting.
Remember, they are not easy to treat as other dogs because wild dogs are not always eager to please their trainers, like domestic dogs are. They also undergo lots of hormonal changes at sexual maturity which can make them unpredictable at times. This is another factor to remember before getting one as a pet.
It’s mainly the dog’s unpredictable nature and genetic differences that can make things difficult for owners who are not ready for the challenge. However they can make a great pet in case of owners with the time and resources to take care of a wild dog.
This is why it all depends on you. You have to be realistic about your expectations, responsibility and availability before getting a wild dog as a pet. Don’t get one just because you want a ild-looking dog’ but only if you are sure you can take care of them.