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