Wild animals can be extremely attractive to humans, especially animal lovers. There’s just something very huggable about a panda or a bear cub, and after watching Pocahontas, there is a large percentage of the population just itching to befriend a raccoon. Wild animals come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and our human imaginations can easily get carried away with dreams of exotic pets and special bonding moments with them.
But the truth of the matter is that wild animals do NOT make good pets. Domestic animals are called so for a reason. They have gone through thousands of years of adaptation to human behavior and this has given them a keener sense of connection to them, reading emotions and learning social behaviors that overrule their natural wild instincts. So animals like dogs and cats are acutely in tune with human forms of communication, and even hamsters, rats and fish have been known to bond with their owners.
This has not happened with wild animals. They are still…WILD. This means that their behavior is almost completely ruled by instinct, and as only the strongest and smartest make it out in the wild, survival instinct is their number one rule of life. Although there are some very inspiring stories of wild animals that have bonded with their rescuers and caretakers, most of them do not have constant access to humans, and shouldn’t be made to adapt to them.
Wild animals have very specific sets of skills and behaviors that allow them to survive in their natural habitats. Most humans who want a wild animal as a pet, do not have the necessary space, money and time to ensure that the animal is provided with as natural an environment as possible, and this means that it will suffer from anxiety and depression, altering its natural patterns and making it, if possible, even more unpredictable.
Most wild animals suffer from captivity, and because their owners don’t understand their needs and communication processes, accidents tend to happen. Aside from this, a species population may decline severely, as many wild animals have shown to become sterile in captivity or extremely uninclined to mating or breeding.
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We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.