4 Reasons why you should not keep wild animals as pets

Some of  you reading this might consider keeping a wild animal as a pet. This is not a good idea. Take note that Junk Mail does not encourage or endorse the keeping and selling of wild animals as domesticated pets. To discourage all of you from even considering this extreme venture into pet ownership I’m featuring 4 reasons why you should not keep wild animals as pets.

#1 Domesticated wild animals get neglected when the novelty wears off

It’s all good and well when you get a new domestic wild animal as a pet, but eventually the novelty of it all will wear off. According to the SPCA most wild animals kept as domestic pets often end up locked up and forgotten, abused and neglected in cages that are too small or inappropriate for them. In many cases they’re fed the wrong food or even let lose to fend for themselves in the wild (which threatens the biodiversity of the habitat they’re let lose into). Point is: think twice before you adopt any animal as a pet, you may not be able to care for it properly.

Rescued Lion

#2 It’s illegal to keep and sell indigenous animals without the required permit

If you want to keep a giraffe, cheetah, lion, impala, civet cat, meerkat or any other wild animal that is indigenous to South Africa you need a special permit for it. You can’t just drive into the bushveld catch a wild infant meerkat or lion cub and take it home with you to raise as your household pet – it’s highly illegal.

Also note that policies regarding the keeping of wild animals differ from province to province in South Africa. For example: it may be illegal to own a porcupine in Gauteng, but legal to do so in the Free State. If you get caught with the animal you may be get a hefty fine or even get prosecuted (depending on which illegal wild animal you’re keeping on your premises). So, make sure that you are inside the legal boundaries when adopting any animal.

It’s also interesting to note that some exotic animal species require permits to keep as pets in South Africa. It’s also a well known fact that the wild animal pet industry fuels the illegal trade in animals. South Africa and various other countries across the world are being drained of their wildlife in order to meet the booming demands of the pet industry. So, if you’re an animal lover think twice before you catch that wild animal in its natural habitat or think of adopting a wild animal as a pet.

#3 Domesticated or not, it’s still a wild animal

That illegal pet cheetah or lion cub might be the cutest thing that you’ve ever seen when they’re tiny, but they grow up and their teeth get sharper. Even though they might be raised in a domesticated environment they still have the instincts of a wild animal and can behave as such. The fact remains that domesticated wild animals are unpredictable. One minute your pet lion may be cuddling with you in front of the TV and the next minute they could be biting off your arm, so think twice before you adopt or catch one.

Domesticated Lion

#4 Keeping a domesticated wild animal comes with health risks

Besides facing the risk of being attacked by a domesticated wild animal, there’s also a chance that they might be carrying a parasite or a disease. This may proof fatal for either you or the animal. There’s also a chance that you could unintentionally infect your new pet with a human disease. According to the SPCA wild animals who have contracted a human disease who are let lose into the wild carries a great risk of infecting other wild animals and disturbing the biodiversity of their habitat.

Well, there you have it, 4 reasons why you should not keep or sell wild animals as pets. If you’re unsure what the policy is regarding a particular wild animal or pet, please feel free to contact our Customer Care Department via ccc@junkmail.co.za or telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours).

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Watch this space for regular updates in the Pets category on the Junk Mail blog.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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2 Responses

  1. Wild animals belong in the wild. Keeping them as pets means they are kept in custody Thank you

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