Keeping Wild Animals as Pets: Is It Dangerous?

by Fred B-L on January 30, 2014 - 9:07am

Accidents happen all the time, but some have larger consequences than others. Back in August 2013, an African rock python killed two young boys in New Brunswick by escaping from its cage. and strangling them. It was found that the reptile was an illegal species that should not have been in the province of N.B, as they are banned from the province. Officials decided to euthanize the python and perform an autopsy. After an investigation inside the reptile pet store, it was declared that the python was not the only animal in the shop that was illegal; almost thirty illegal animals were found in the shop, as well as a few endangered ones. According to the officials, four of them were euthanized on the site since none of the contacted zoos were able to accomodate them. This unfortunate event raises a particular question: should wild animals be kept as pets? 

Many will say that they should. Wild animals in their natural habitat can become a threat to humans, as they can strike anytime. With the growing population, more and more people are taking space to live on and this will eventually reduce the space wild animals are used to living in. The disturbance in the ecosystem could cause those animals to become extinct if they are not resisting enough to adjust to their changing habitat. It is safer to keep them as pets, as this also reduces the chance of their species to disappear completely if they are taken care of. With the correct equipment, one should be able to recreate a similar environment and keep the animals safe. Since they are in captivity, they have all they need; food, water, a habitat that is safe. With safety procedures to avoid incidents, these animals are most likely to cause no problems.

Some may argue that they should remain in the wild, specifically in order to avoid events like the one that took place in N.B. Wild animals cannot be domesticated as easily as cats and dogs, they have their own instincts and are naturally able to survive without us interfering with their existence. Wild animals kept as pets that manage to hurt humans are most likely to be euthanized, as they are declared as dangerous because they attacked. However, these wild animals are only following what they would do in their natural habitat. If they did the same in nature in order to feed themselves, they would not be subject to death. Wild animals that are euthanized because they were considered dangerous makes little sense; the word wild is there for a reason. They could do actions that we do not expect, therefore they are a threat, but that is something we should already be aware of. 

Is it fair to euthanize wild animals that follow their natural instinct? More specifically, is it fair to euthanize wild animals that hurt us? While we have to take into consideration the fact that they are unpredictable, sometimes these wild animals do things that are not usually an action their temperament would push them to do. Is that our fault? By keeping them captive, are we influencing them negatively to act in a different manner?

 

 

The new article can be found here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/python-pet-shop-tied-to-boys-deaths-had-27-illegal-animals-1.1304071

Comments

This article is very interesting and shows good writing skills. I really like how you've offered the two opposite views to the problematic of euthanizing dangerous animals, on one side naturalists that want to domesticate wild animal and another side where people believe they're too dangerous. It is very difficult to balance ourselves on whether these animal should be protected, killed, or relieved. Personally, I believe that these kind of animals and reptiles are a necessity for the food chain and for the maintain of the species. However in some circumstances people are scared and take the easiest alternative. For example, I went to Egypt during the summer 2011 and I saw a fight between two dogs, one really got hurt, instead of calling an animal health institution, the park guard decided to take a stick and end the poor dogs misery. If society contributes in taking wrong decisions like this on there will be more than an extinction of reptiles in my opinion.

2) The article you have chosen is very interesting and you have managed to pull out interesting and important information to summarize it clearly. I enjoyed reading the pros and cons to living with a wild animal, it made it easier for me to reach my opinion on the subject. I am captured by your "should not" paragraph. I agree that they should remain in the wild because the wild, or their home rather, is where such animals are meant to live. They have the appropriate food and shelter at their reach. I do not think it is fair for us to remove them from their home environment and place them where we prefer they would live. Further, these wild animals are dangerous. They are unable to comprehend how to behave and interact with humans because they were born to fend for themselves, it is in their natural instinct to be dangerous. There is a reason why when visiting a pet store you cannot purchase wild animals and are limited to dogs, cats, rabbits, fish etc. because they are safe and more likely to learn to not bring harm to us humans. I do not think it is morally just to euthanize the wild animals especially those who are taken as pets but instead they should be returned to the wild (their home). It is true that they can be unpredictable however, if we keep them in their habitat and people wish to go and see them they should be made aware that it is at their own risk. The following article mentions the disadvantages of having wild animals as pets to both humans and animals. Link :http://www.livescience.com/38857-wild-animals-are-not-pets.html

The article you have chosen is very interesting and you have managed to pull out interesting and important information to summarize it clearly. I enjoyed reading the pros and cons to living with a wild animal, it made it easier for me to reach my opinion on the subject. I am captured by your "should not" paragraph. I agree that they should remain in the wild because the wild, or their home rather, is where such animals are meant to live. They have the appropriate food and shelter at their reach. I do not think it is fair for us to remove them from their home environment and place them where we prefer they would live. Further, these wild animals are dangerous. They are unable to comprehend how to behave and interact with humans because they were born to fend for themselves, it is in their natural instinct to be dangerous. There is a reason why when visiting a pet store you cannot purchase wild animals and are limited to dogs, cats, rabbits, fish etc. because they are safe and more likely to learn to not bring harm to us humans. I do not think it is morally just to euthanize the wild animals especially those who are taken as pets but instead they should be returned to the wild (their home). It is true that they can be unpredictable however, if we keep them in their habitat and people wish to go and see them they should be made aware that it is at their own risk. The following article mentions the disadvantages of having wild animals as pets to both humans and animals. Link :http://www.livescience.com/38857-wild-animals-are-not-pets.html

As a person who wrote a blog post on a similar subject, I find your article very interesting. I think you really captured the essence of the issue and I find that animals rights is a subject that is always brought back each time an animal incident occurs.

Personally, I would say that it is not fair to euthanize wild animals because, like you mentioned, they should not be present in human habitats. They are considered wild for a reason and if humans make the mistake of trying to domesticate them, the animals should not have to pay for these mistakes because it is the humans’ fault if they get hurt by these animals that are only following their survival instincts. Captivity can make creatures do unspeakable things and they should not be blamed for their actions. We could compare this situation to a human being that is held captive. After a while, this human might become crazy and attack the person that is holding him captive but will this human be blamed? Of course not, people will say it was self-defence and nobody will say that this person should be killed because she hurt the person holding her against her will.

This brings me to the point that wild animals should not be kept as pet because they do not belong in houses or yards, they belong in the wild. Like you also mentioned, they are not like dogs and cats because unlike domesticated animals which depend on humans to survive, wild animals were born with the instinct and the knowledge to survive by themselves.

I also find it very interesting that you brought up the issue of extinction and survival with all the problems concerning the destruction of habitats. It is obvious that the animal species that are on the verge of becoming extinct need some help in surviving but even then, these animals should be kept in zoos and other institutes that specialize in helping them surviving without actually treating them like pets. At least, in these facilities, wild animals can keep their instincts without hurting people or go crazy because they are not in their natural habitat.

Related to this subject, there is also the issue of wild animals attacking humans in the wild. A great example of this situation is sharks getting to close to the beaches in Australia. Here is a link to an article about the topic: http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/ethics-1245-fournier-sylvester-c... .