Tiger cubs are irresistible and wolves are majestic. While it may seem appealing to keep a wild animal as a pet, it’s important to remember that doing so can lead to a host of problems, not to mention legal and ethical issues. Keeping wild animals as pets requires a great deal of thought, research, and preparation. In addition to the ethical and legal factors, you need to make sure you’re able to provide ideal housing and diet, as well as medical care – all of which may be difficult to find.
Ethical and Animal Welfare Issues
Before you attach yourself to the idea of bringing home an exotic animal, consider the ethical issues involved, particularly those pertaining to the welfare of the animal itself. Are you able to provide the same quality of life in captivity that the animal would have in the wild? Before you move forward, carefully consider whether the animal is better off in captivity or in the wild.
Research state laws pertaining to the keeping of wild animals as pets – just because you can acquire a wolf or a tiger cub doesn’t mean it’s legal. Check city or county laws, as well as laws at the state/provincial and federal levels. If you break the law and are turned in or discovered, your pet will likely be taken away.
Especially once they’re physically mature, wild animals often become very difficult pets. They can be aggressive and even dangerous, simply because of their size, physical strength, and natural instincts. Animals in captivity can also become frustrated with space limitations and not being able to fully exhibit their natural proclivities.
Providing proper care for a wild animal for the duration of its lifespan can be challenging, costly, and time consuming. And what if, for whatever reason, you’re no longer able to care for the animal? Finding a good home for an adult wild animal can be extremely difficult.
As you can see, taking on a wild animal as a pet is not an endeavor to be taken lightly, so take the time to do your homework before you commit.