There is no doubt that having an exotic animal like a monkey or anaconda is considered “cool” among young teens and adults. Due to this sudden popularity, many are unaware of how much care and thought it takes to care for these animals responsibly. Normal people who aren’t professionals in exotic animal care don’t know how to properly raise them, and lack the proper resources and knowledge of how to keep them healthy. Oftentimes, many people find themselves unfit for their care and release them into the wild which is very dangerous to the ecosystem. Due to the effort it takes to care for exotic animals, people shouldn’t own them unless they are aware of how to properly do so.
The exotic pet trade is where people take animals from their native homes and transport them to various countries to be sold as pets. Around 1000 Internet sites sell these animals to buyers and bidders who decide on a price. The sellers of these animals, however, fail to mention the laws that regulate the private possession of exotics and needs of the animals. The lack of information and education on raising these exotic animals is the main concern with people purchasing them. Most animals require lots of land and space to mimic their lives in the wild but are usually confined in a cage or room, which is detrimental to the animal’s physical and mental health. According to the World Animal Protection Organization, a life for an animal in captivity limits the natural behavior of an animal and they often lack adequate shelter, food and room to roam.
Another issue that many uneducated owners may not be aware of is the health risks that come with owning an exotic pet. Not only are they dangerous due to sharp claws and beaks, but they also carry diseases that are
harmful to humans. These illnesses include bird flu, salmonella, tuberculosis, measles and herpes. Due to the loose regulations for the transporting and exporting of exotic animals, most are not screened for these diseases before being adopted.
Lastly, one of the biggest issues with having exotic pets is invasiveness. Since most owners find that they are unable to properly care for the animal, most resort to setting the animal free into the wild which can cause lots of problems with the ecosystem. A common example of this is the Green Anaconda, a species not native to Florida that is currently listed as an invasive species. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, due to the release of these anacondas into the wild, many species native to Florida are being killed. Instead, people are urged to hand the pet over to a program or sanctuary that knows how to properly care for the animals.
While some buyers might put the responsibility of producing knowledge on the animals on the seller, the buyer is the one who has to take care of the animal daily so it will fall on them
It is strongly urged that people do not purchase these animals unless they are sure they have the proper means for their care. Due to uneducated owners many exotic animals find themselves becoming invasive species. In order to end this damage to our ecosystem, it is strongly suggested by organizations that people stop supporting the exotic animal trade and allow experts from sanctuaries and programs to save these animals from falling into the wrong hands.