In light of a trainer’s tragic death from interacting with a supposedly trained killer whale, it is interesting to note that this is not first, and not even the second, but the third death caused by this powerful animal. Even though the trainers realized that this was still a fairly wild animal, they trusted the creature enough to be in the water with him. Although the killer whale was less than a pet, this incident still highlights the dangers of interacting with exotic animals.
Many people consider exotic pets to be status symbols as well as fun, exciting creatures to have around. For some reason, we have always been drawn to these animals, frequenting circuses and animal shows. Additionally, even though zoos can do a wonderful job of providing a safe haven for wild animals, they can still make kids want an exotic animal as a pet.
When comparing domestic animals to exotic ones that are kept as house pets, you must realize that humans have been in the process of domesticating cats and dogs for thousands of years. Puppies and kittens are able to get used to humans from the second that they are born, which helps adapt them to the presence of people. On the other hand, exotic animals may have been living in the wild for years, only to be yanked out of their natural habitat.
There are a wide variety of exotic pets kept as animals. While some people choose to keep tigers, lions, bears, and wolves for their pleasure, even non-human primates and some reptiles count as exotic pets. Some of these animals need a larger amount of habitat than you can provide in just your yard. Still others rely on exotic foodstuffs that cannot be found in your neighborhood pet store. This can result in suffering for the animal.
With this suffering, exotic pets can become agitated and dangerous. Some people choose to put their animals through processes such as declawing and tooth removal in order to make them less able to cause injury if they decided to attack. However, this can make an exotic pet still more frustrated and angry.
Many people do not realize the strength of exotic animals. In fact, chimpanzees, a common exotic pet, have been estimated to have five times the arm strength of a human male. This can result in deadly disasters if they become panicked around a human. Besides strength, chimps also have strong, sharp canine teeth that can rip and tear.
Some people and places work hard to keep exotic animals in as natural of a habitat as possible, such as zoos and wildlife preserves. However, keeping an exotic animal as a house pet can be very dangerous for you and those you love.