Sure, wild animals are adorable – some even possess that distinct power that comes with cuteness – the one that makes you want to take them home with you. Really, who hasn’t oogled over the sight of a frolicking coyote cub or wanted to pet the deer who visit their yard? Animals are one of the greatest gifts the earth has to offer, and it’s in our nature to be drawn to them. But wild animals are considered “wild” for a reason, and put simply…they make terrible pets!
Thousands of years of domestication have enabled dogs and cats to live peacefully alongside humans, but wild animals have not had that opportunity. To take them from their natural habitats for the sake of our own entertainment, or to give us company is considered highly unethical to many people who are familiar with wildlife. This is one of the greatest reasons why institutions like zoos and circuses are so controversial.
Here are a six more reasons why wild animals belong in the wild, and not in our homes.
They’re NOT Like Your Cat or Dog!
Just because they may look like the dogs or cats you have at home, doesn’t mean they will act like them. Yes, it’s true that domestic cats and dogs are descended from big cats and wolves, but the differences between them are significant. Take for example the fact that your dog doesn’t hunt down it’s food in cold blood, or that your cat doesn’t have claws the size of your head. Yeah…these “small” differences are kind of a big deal.
They Get Bored Easily
Life in captivity is nothing like life in the wild and this can quickly lead to boredom in animals who are used to living on their own terms. Boredom is not a state of being that wild animals are used to experiencing. In fact, without having something to do, or a form of stimuli the wild can provide, wild animals get frustrated and can act out in an aggressive manner.
So knowing this, do you want a bored tiger on your hands?…No. We didn’t think so!
They’ll Try to Take Over Your Home
The old adage, “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile,” definitely applies to pets and in the case of wild animals, having one take over your house could be a bad thing… a very bad (and messy; and smelly; and noisy…) thing!
Just think about it, in the wild the world is literally theirs for the taking – why shouldn’t the same be applied to your house? Hope you don’t have personal space issues!
They Might Hate You…But, Really.
You can give them all the love and attention in the world, but chances are, they probably won’t love you quite the same way as your dogs and cats do. Many wild animal species know instinctively they should fear humans (sorry, but we don’t have the best track record…) and it is very rare that they form the kinds of bonds that we’re used to with our dogs and cats.
How would you feel about the person who took you away from your forest/home/paradise and shoved you in a cage?
They Have Very Specific Dietary Needs
We all have that one friend who is a total pain to go out for dinner with – you know the one who wants to know the exact origin and life story of the broccoli they’re thinking or ordering (okay, so sometimes we’re that person…).
Well unlike your friend who has “dietary needs” because they think it’s cool, wild animals actually need specialized diets to meet their basic nutritional needs.
It’s not like you can stroll into the nearest pet supply store and pick up a bag of fox food or a box of monkey chow. They need to eat a diet that replicates what they’d eat in the wild – and definitely no pastries!!
They Can Get You Into Trouble
And for good reason, most people are not equipped to care for wild animals, and even if they are, that does NOT mean they should. When you look into the face of a cute raccoon and feel the urge to take them home as a pet, remember this would be a very selfish action. Remember these simple reasons next time your heart melts at the sight of a chipmunk in your yard. Wild animals are wild for a reason, and it is up to us to ensure they stay there!