Should Wild Animals be Kept as Pets
One can argue that animals can be tamed if their existence is considered to be endangered. In such a situation people do tame the animal to protect the species. This idea is highly welcome as some animals are said to be greatly diminishing in number due to various ecological reasons. People may argue a lot whether this a form of poaching or protection but there is a reasonable opinion that it is of great importance in bid to keep the wild species. Moreover in some countries wild animals can be kept for their aesthetic benefits. Take a tiger for example, it may be for its beauty that a person may decide to keep it as a pet. Some other animals are attractive in nature; that is they can make one’s home look charismatic and very appealing in terms of nature (Silver, 2008).
On top of the latter, it is necessary for a person to find more information about the animal to tame an animal as a pet. Some information provided by scientists can only be useful if one has interacted with the animal for a long time. This leaves peoplewith just their hands tied. The only escape route if possible is to probably tame the animal and keep it as a pet.
Economic reasons have also been a push factor that has made some people try to find ways to keep wild animals as pets. Some people have kept wild animals in a bid to reap money out of them. An example is some magicians who use monkeys in their trickery. This really boosts their marketability. A dozen of dancers have also incorporated monkeys in their performances. The economic reasons have upped the people’s social status and economic stability.
It is also common to find people taming animals just for their personal satisfaction. Such people are known to be passionate about animals. They do find joy in dealing with animals. They can go up to an extent of taming wild animals for their pleasure. As cited above, this really boosts a person's life, makes it a joyous, which results in a healthy way of living.
Despite the various reasons and advantages for taming wild animals as pets, there are cons that make affair very tricky and disadvantageous indeed. These reasons make people think twice before venturing in the act. The challenges involved may be legal or just natural issues that are very difficult to solve.
To start with, a lot of countries have abstract, strict laws that govern the wild animals in the country. These laws vary from one country to another. In the U.S.A. for example, there are federal laws, state laws and the local laws that govern exotic animals. In terms of the federal laws, there are three of these kinds namely: Lacey Act, Public Health Service Act, Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act prohibits the trade of an endangered animal species; the Public Service Act prohibits the importation of any non-human primate into the country, whereas the Lacey Act allows the U.S.A. government to prosecute a person found by an animal that is illegally acquired from another country or state. On the other hand state laws have the authority over the animals possessed by a person. The state laws vary from state to state mainly with regard to the animals being governed. Some states ban the possession of exotic animals, while others partially ban the possession of the animals. Some states in the U.S.A. at least have the leniency to allow the possession of exotic animals as pets, if their owner has a license to keep them. The local counties and towns in the USA however has adopted strict measures on the possession of wild animals. Such legal issues often act as a fend for people trying to tame wild animals as pets. One has to undergo a lot of legal sieving to be allowed to acquire an animal. Futhermore, the legal follow up is mostly costly to the common person. Also, such legal framework brings people many troubles in order to come up with the laws of the land.
Moreover it has been found that wild animals are not exactly good companions unlike their domestic counterparts. This is largely due to the fact that most wild animals usually have special needs that cannot possibly be provided by untrained people in the society, that is to say, that skill and training are sometimes required dealing with certain animals. Some people may not really know how to diet, house and maintain a certain animal. More so, some animals are not used to being confined to small cages. Such situations may make the animal very hostile forcing the owner to resort to hard methods like removing its claws. Such methods employed are usually in opposition to the nature of the animal’s original behavioral characteristics. As a result the animal’s health will deteriorate leaving the owner perplexed and helpless (Rena, 2008).
Naturally, most wild animals are inherently known to be dangerous to people. Most countries across the globe annually report increasing incidences of animal attacks on people. This shows how much of a threat these wild animals are to the life of innocent people. Most attacks recorded are results of animals breaking of the Zoo and parks around the world. The question now in mind is how risky are they if they are closely interacting with the same innocent people. Most animals move around in groups with their fellow peers. As opposed, the tamed animals are usually isolated in cages inside the homes depriving them of their natural behaviors. It can be seen that this is a dangerous thing to do as they may turn violent at any time.
Research has shown that monkeys and reptiles like snakes pose a serious threat when tamed as pets. A study conducted by the CDC showed that a monkey, especially the male monkey, starts depicting dangerous aggressive behavior such as biting at the age of two. The changes are dangerous considering a possibilitythat a monkey may the owner suddenly or ny other person. In some incidences such bites result in the loss of lives. Most people often ignore the bites or fail to report fearing the confiscation of their pets.
Keeping exotic animals as pets is a health hazard to the person and the community at large. Some animals are known to spread very dangerous diseases that are extremely harmful to man. In recent years, studies have shown that pets, such as raccoons, can be carriers of Rabies which is a viral disease that causes death if not treated urgently. If the infected animals come into contact with people and bite them, the person may contract the disease (Kum, 2009). The virus usually spreads from the wound to the brain where it causes inflammation. It has the following symptoms: exaggerated sensation at the bite site, excitability, loss of feeling in the area of the body, loss of muscle function etc.
Racoons are also known to be carriers of another deadly disease known as Toxoplasmosis. The disease usually affects people with low immunity especially pregnant women. Moreover, racoons also have the tendency to spread roundworms to human beings. It is to be noted that the roundworms normally do not have any effects on them but can cause severe complications for humans. They may cause a condition called the Neural Larva Margins if they invade the eye or the brain.
Another dangerous disease that can be acquired in handling of animals is Histoplasmosis.The disease is usually spread through handling the feaces of a birds or rodents. It is usually acquired through inhaling of fungus contained in feaces.
Salmonella is another one dangerous disease that can be easily spread by animals. It is a fact that almost all reptiles carry salmonella and they do shed them from their feaces.According to CDC about 93000 cases of salmonella infection are reported each year. Like the roundworm, the salmonella does not make the animal sick but it affects human beings. If a person handles reptiles and thenhe or she has a meal without properly washing their hands, the person is at a very high risk of contracting salmonella.
Last but not least, the Herpes virus (Lianne, 2012). This is a viral disease that has been known to be common among monkeys. Most monkeys are carriers of the viruses. Like salmonella and the roundworms, they are very fatal to human beings but have no effects on the monkeys. Fortunately, there have been very few reported cases of infections since the discovery of the virus in 1932.There are only 31 reported cases ever since its discovery. Out of the discovered cases 21 have been resulted in fatal conditions. It has been known that the virus is shed by the monkeys through the saliva and genital secretions when the monkey is ill. Though little research has been done on the disease it is noted that the low infections are probably due to the uncommon B virus spreaded by macaques, immunity against B virus is stimulated by herpes simplex virus infection, and undetected infections. Bird flu is another disease that is well known to be transmitted from monkeys, pets and birds.
The above citations may just be a few but they are a great indication of how coming in close contact with animals may be extremely hazardous. These greatly provide a measure of what a person will be getting into when trying to tame a wild animal. Trying to tame animals like raccoons, monkeys, reptiles can easily result to deadly outbreaks that can destroy lives of many in the vicinity (Jodi, 2012).
Another debatable disadvantage of keeping wild animals as pets is the fact that however much a person can try simulating the natural environs that the animal would ideally be designated to live in, it is still impossible to exactly offer the required quality. As we all know wild animals have evolved a lot over the years and thus it is not advisable to try and go against nature by trying to put them in captivity. It is extremely inhumane trying to separate them from their natural habitats. An animal undergoes a lot of emotional stress as it tries to untie itself from their natural surroundings.
Another concept that can result from taming animals is a scientific phenomenon known as habituation. Animal habituation is basically a simple form of learning whereby a given animal stops responding after a given exposure to certain stimulus for a given length of time. A clear example of habituation is if a snail is moving along a surface and a person taps into the surface, the snail will immediately withdraw into its shell, it will then re-appear after the pause only to withdraw again on another tap. However repeated tapping on the surface results in a briefer withdrawal time. It continues up to the point where there is no more response from the snail. In such a situation habituation is said to have occurred (Louis, 2008). The phenomenon coupled with the fact that animals tend to be unpredictable is very dangerous for wild animals. Habituated animals cannot be returned to the wild since they can be harmful to the humans. This for real leaves the animal in jeopardy. A habituated animal cannot be able to survive on their own if left in the wild. Proper skills are needed when one tries to rehabilitate a sick or probably an orphaned animal to avoid the possibility of habituation.
Finally, inadequate safety measures and poor housing facilities are other reasons wild animals should not be kept as pets. Some wild animals which were turned into pets have been reported to have out their cages because people do provide less standards of safety measures normally observed in the zoos. Venomous snakes and tigers have been reported to have escaped their cages or an aquarium respectively. Providing good housing is normally expensive for private citizens.
It is highly evident from the arguments and citations given, that though some animals may look beautiful and attractive to keep as pets, it is far much better to keep off the temptations rather than risk it out. The risks far much outweigh the benefits and the general public should be warned off to minimize loss of more lives.