In today’s post, I would love to open the subject of owning wild animals. I’m sure many of you own your little pet monkeys, or have a relative that owns a cheetah cub or know a friend who happens to have a pet snake. It’s rapidly becoming very common in the UAE and other GCC countries, and as much as they can be irresistibly cute and fun to own as pets, many people do not acknowledge the danger it poses on both owners and animals :(
**I would really hope to enlighten readers with the information I’m about to provide, and I ask you to really give it some thought before disagreeing or turning away.**
On the animals:
1) You’re taking them away from their homes, their natural habitats. Just imagine a baby lion cub taken away from its mama, you don’t know how they get from Africa straight to your homes, so it’s possible that that’s the case. Not only are they separated from their mothers who instinctively know how to provide the best care for them when they’re young, but their whole environment changes into something completely different. That also means their diet is also altered. Some of you might say “But I walk my lion..”, “I take my chimp to our huge farm every week”, “I feed my cheetah the best kind of meat there is!”. No matter how you try, the human alternatives owners try to provide will never compare to the actual wild. A huge fenced cage isn’t going to provide the open space for a leopard to run in, frozen chicken and meat can easily be favored over by the thrill of hunting real prey, and trees in farms or homes will never be anything like the ones monkeys climb on in the jungles and forests.
2) Medical Challenges. Your local veterinarian will most likely not be able to diagnose your animal when it suddenly falls ill, and even when it does, it’s incredibly expensive. These wild animals can also get sick from the different climate/environment they’re introduced to, and unfortunately, some of these animals die. I’ve heard a close relative of mine owned a baby cheetah who used his claws as defense from a child who kept on harassing it, and it was taken to an irresponsible vet who de-clawed* it and boom. It died.
3) Contribution to Animal Extinction. Ever had this particular animal you’ve always fantasized of seeing or holding? My list could go on forever: Pandas, Koalas, Tigers and Pandas, and did I mention more pandas? xD Even though they’re not owned as pets since they’re already extremely endangered, the more you adopt a wild animal species, the greater the risk of it becoming endangered and then later on, extinct in the future. Think about it, no more big cats, wolves, chimps. Not in your local zoo nor anywhere allowing outside access. Meeting your dream animal would be impossible. You don’t want to contribute to adorable animals dying out forever right? I hope not :P
And on the owners themselves:
1) They’re wild. You don’t say, right? They’re called “wild” for a reason! They’re built for the tough life, growing up to be independent, and in some cases, hunters. Even if you raised your wild animal from a young age, and it has grown up with you and in your environment, it will still preserve some behavioral aspects and instincts that it needs for..well, the wild. It will hurt you, your kids and other loved ones. If domesticated animals are capable of doing that from time to time, then what do you think wild ones would do?
2) They’re not affectionate. Different than the first point. Wild animals are not used to human contact, and no matter how many kisses and hugs you give, its possible that it doesn’t have the darndest idea of what you’re doing to it xD A leopard won’t randomly come lie next to you in bed or sleep on your lap or anything. It just doesn’t happen :o
3) Again, they are hell expensive to own and care for.
In the end, there are solutions to every situation. And in this case, we can leave it to the domestic animals to provide for our need for a loving pet :)
“God made the cat in order to give man the pleasure of caressing the tiger.” – Fernand Mery
The meaning of this quote is quite obvious. A cat is capable of filling in the role of a tiger raised as a pet. Domestic animals are basically the tame versions of their wild ancestors. Domestication was a process carried on through thousands of years, so let’s give our ancestors some respect and make use of their idea!!
Want a tiger? Get a cat. Want a wolf? Get a puppy. There’s also hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, and even birds who will love you more than a wild animal would, so love them back! Do your research, find the pet that wins your heart and please adopt from shelters and kennels before resorting to pet shops and pet stores. I will provide a list of shelters that provide a great range of animals at the bottom of this post, so please have a look at it if you’re thinking about getting a pet :)
Honestly, I know this sounds overly-dramatic, but one single pet can change your life. …but make sure that pet is domesticated xD I hope this post benefited you in a way, and if you were supporting the ownership of wild animals, I hope I was able to change your mind if not a little bit. Please spread the word & share with your friends and family. Be the voice of the wild animals and help fight against this act!
Thanks for reading! :)
– Reem AlHashmi
*De-clawing is the removal of a cat’s fingernails. Ouch.