In the USA keeping of exotic pets is barely regulated by law, and it is estimated that there are anything between 5000 and 10.000 of exotic pet owners who keep animals which can be pretty dangerous when treated improperly. Here are some of the dangers of keeping exotic pets.
Non-domesticated felines – these are pretty popular with well-to do men and women alike. Tigers, leoparts, cougars and lions are often kept by pets. These animals may be cute and cuddly while they’re young, but they are also large animals who are used to marking large natural territories as their own, and even a medium sized yard isn’t enough at times. Even a very friendly feline can turn on it’s owner or it’s guests, not only because feeling endangered, but as an attempt to establish dominance. Due to huge claws and bone shattering bite, these are very dangerous and deadly when they go out of control. That being said, they can be tamed, but it takes a lot of effort and a lot of knowledge.
Primates – Monkeys seem to have gotten really popular as exotic house pets over the last two decades, but they are even more dangerous as a pet than a feline. While they don’t sport claws as dangerous, their teeth are usually more than enough to do the damage, and they will. Most monkeys hit the equivalent of puberty at the age of two, when they become much more territorial and aggressive. The fact that we are primates as well does not work in our favor, as monkeys will bite and cause damage to humans in an attempt to force their way into the alpha position.
Reptiles – snakes, lizards, scorpions and similar exotic beasts pose a lot of threat to humans, and large snakes in particular have gotten pretty popular as exotic pets. Strangulation and bites are the most common hazards, as is the fact that reptiles are simply do not behave like mammals. Many pets live in the belief that their snake likes them, but that’s a false conclusion. These snakes may be satisfied because they’re fed and cared for, but if they are not fed adequately, they will turn on their owners immediately, without any instincts to hold back domesticated animals or mammals in general would have.
Bites, scratches, injuries and bone fractures are the common problems, but there are other things to think of, like herpes virus, salmonellosis and, in case of some lizards and snakes, poison. Zoo’s and the wilds are places where exotic animals should be, not the homes of people.