Okay, you might have noticed that in my bloglist, I’ve posted some links to some sites that are all about exotic animals. About a year ago, I accidentally came across an article that was against exotic ownership. After reading it, I was intrigued by the issue and decided that if I was going to properly understand it and come to my own conclusion as to what my opinion on it would be, I needed to find some pro-exotics articles. After a fair amount of searching and reading through of negative articles, I managed to find some positive information, which then led me to more positive information. Although all of those articles contributed to my decision to work towards eventually owning one or more exotics, a youtube video is what really tipped the scales for me. It is called ‘Exotic Animal Owners Under Attack’ and it is a slideshow of images of exotic animals and their people interacting, put together by REXANO, the organisation of REsponsible EXotic ANimal Owners. Here it is;
How can you not be convinced that exotic animals can make great pets after that? Notice that I used the word ‘can’ because exotic animals are not for everybody, just like domestic cats, dogs, and horses, respectively, aren’t for everybody.
As a note, REXANO has collected statistics that show that only 20 deaths in between 1990 and 2008 were caused by captive big cats. That’s about 1 a year, which can be compared to 4 a year from fireworks discharge, 48 a year from lightning and 45,343 a year from automobile accidents. From that information, you would think that cars and fireworks would be banned before ownership of big cats.
I could go on and on stating my opinions on this subject and explaining why what a lot of animal activists say is wrong but I’ll try to not make this too long. First of all, I want to confront the whole “they should be in the wild, they’ll be happier there” thing.
1) There is very little wild left because of humans. Oh sure, there are humongous nature reserves, but as those are surrounded by a fence, any animals that reside there are technically in captivitty.
2) In the ‘wild’ the typical life of an animal consists of; not always knowing if it’ll have enough food, living in constant fear of predators/rivals, and eventually dying a very painful death due to starvation, disease, or being ripped to pieces by predators or rival carnivores. Compare that to living in something that protects from the elements (whether that be a house or a constructed den in an enclosure), being guaranteed food regularly, getting vaccinated and therefore protected from the majority of diseases they would encounter in the ‘wild’, having a large enclosure to run and play in, and last but not least, being loved on and spoiled by their human family.
Now, you might be shaking your head at the computer screen going ‘no, that’s not how it is, exotic animals are alway kept in horrible conditions and spend their life angry.’ Unfortunately, the only times you’ve probably heard about exotic animals being kept is when they’re being abused, neglected, or have attacked somebody. That is for two reasons; because animal rights activists want you to see only the bad stuff, and/or the media only shows you things that are considered ‘news’.
When I first got into researching exotics, I was most interested in tigers. Now through being at exoticcatz.com, I know that I will be getting a serval first and possibly own a slightly larger cat like a lynx or cougar before finally getting a lion or tiger. I’m also starting to like the idea of a lion a bit more partly due to hearing about others’ experiences with them and partly because of the work of Kevin Richardson (whom I will probably post about in the future). Other exotics that I would like to eventually own at one point or another are;
a wolf or wolfdog
an arctic fox
and probably quite a few others I will decide that I would like.
Although there are other things I would like to discuss on this topic, I’ll leave them for another post.
And here is yet another quote from “How to be a Canadian” They are actually two different sentences; one on being a newfoundlander, and one on being a quebecker, that are linked.
“Nefoundlanders rank-far and away- as having the most sex of any Canadians…Newfoundlanders are also the friendliest people in Canada. Of course they’re friendly. They want to have sex with you….The Quebecois are among the friendliest people in Canada outside of Newfoundland. And yes, their motives are probably the same.”