Why You Should Never Have Wild Animals as Pets
Humans love pets. We love keeping dogs, cats, birds etc., not necessary because we care for them the best or love them, but because we consider them part of us. I’m not necessarily claiming that it is bad for you to keep your dog or cat, but there are animals that I believe shouldn’t kept as pets. Furthermore, I believe that no human should never have wild animals as pets. There are animals which don’t need to be domesticated such as tortoises or turtles. These wild animals belong in the wild without a doubt. Out there in the forests or oceans are their home and the best place which is conducive for their growth and development.
Unless you met and injured a wild animal and you want to first provide treatment before releasing it back, then you needn’t keep them as pets. If it is not in the wild, then they belong to rehabilitation centers or Game Park where there are experienced people who can protect and take care of them. Keeping wild animals as a pet can be detrimental to the health of the animal.
Last winter I went to visit a friend in Minnesota whom I had not met for 7 years since we graduated from college. I had gone there for business purposes but since I was in town, I decided to pay him a visit so that we could catch up having not met for a long time. Everything about his place was elegant. I even envied his home. In the sitting room near the fireplace, was a large home aquarium and I could see some colored fish in it.
The Wild Belong in the Wild
While we were still catching up, I noticed something pop its head from one covered part of the aquarium. At first, I thought it was a snake and I became scared as I notified him immediately. He chuckled for a while because of the way I had freaked out, before he took me to meet a Herman’s tortoise who he had named Epirus. He had kept him as a pet.
On clear observation, I noticed that that the tortoise seemed all stress up. I conveyed that to him but he was quick to respond that the tortoise had fallen off the verandah but was fine. Fine!!! I didn’t see how fine it was. It was really stressed up and very weak. We talked about before he told me that he had picked it 2 months earlier while vacationing in Macedonia. What I failed to know was how he managed to take the tortoise from the place to US. I didn’t bother ask. I just felt pity for this poor animal which was being victimized in the name of being a pet.
Proper Environment is Vital for Development of Any Animal
He didn’t give me any plausible reason why he was keeping a sick wild animal in his house without treatment. Furthermore Tortoises need a hot climate to breed, thus they live in the sun-clad Mediterranean, and especially in low altitudes. They sun bath on everyday basis and for hours, because the blaze and warmth of the sun are vital for their health.
Of the same importance is the shadow, especially under the bushes, where they turn to when it is needed. They winter sleep in protected places under rocks or bushes or they dig into the ground. During winter, they live thanks to the fat and water supplies they accumulated by eating vast quantities of grass and herbs in the active period of their lives.
They feed mainly with plants and blossoms, less with fruits, and rarely with invertebrate (spineless organisms). Wild grass, such as clover, milkweed and mallow make up 90% of their diet. When they come across water, they drink as much as possible.
Was his ‘pet’ getting all that or was he just mistreating the poor thing. As I explained this to him we got into a confrontation, the same way we used to while in college, as I tried to make him realize that the ‘pet’ didn’t belong there. In my view, he wasn’t at all protecting the animal by keeping it in ‘captivity’. He even didn’t know if his ‘pet’ was male or female.
Basically, by ‘owning’ her if was putting the tortoise through a lot of stress. Out there in the world where the tortoise belonged, there were minimal chances of accidents or injuries. He was exposing the tortoise to a lot of risk by confining it and that why it was stressful, weak, restless and aggressive. On examining the tortoise carefully, I realized that her shell had fractured, which meant that the plastron could too be broken. On seeing this, he realized how he was endangering the animal by keeping it at home.
This made me convince him that we needed to take the tortoise to an animal sanctuary where she could be taken care of. We contacted a wildlife sanctuary and the following day the tortoise was relocated. However, it was never saved, because it died that same night. He had his share of lesson as to why we need not domesticate wild animals.