In spite of the controversy, and very real danger, surrounding exotic animals as ?pets,? the numbers of people keeping wildlife at home seems to be growing. From jaguars to chimpanzees to alligators, we take a look at the thousands of wild animals being kept in?and sometimes released from?captivity.
Surprising though it may be, many US states have no rules on how (or even if) wild animals can be kept in residential areas. Which means your new neighbours could just as easily keep a tiger in the backyard as a terrier. British photographer David White took a trip across the pond to document some of the 18.2 million wild animals that Americans privately own.
This Daily Green article looks at several examples of exotic ?pets? that have killed or maimed people (caution: contains graphic videos). Some of the animals had been bred in captivity and hand-reared by their owners from birth. But the Darwin Award definitely goes to the Oregon man who decided to keep a rattlesnake he found?and then put its head in his mouth. Yep.
Exotic pets aren’t just lions and bears; things like birds and reptiles fall into the category too. They probably won’t chew someone’s leg off but there are certain dangers that pet owners should still be aware of?like a little something called Psittacosis, which can cause heart infections and even death in humans. This Star Exponent article offers a good basic primer for those thinking of buying an exotic animal.
We’ve all heard the stories about pet snakes and crocodiles being flushed down toilets and living in the New York sewers. That may be an urban legend, but the discarded pet pythons invading Florida’s wetlands are definitely real. In fact, real enough to kill six-foot alligators, along with deer and other large mammals. The problem doesn’t stop in Florida, either. Officials are now worried that the snakes are spreading to states like Georgia and the Carolinas.