Sigh. Country singer and songwriter, Luke Bryan is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Just recently, Luke gifted his wife, Caroline TWO BABY KANGAROOS for Christmas. Luke shared a video on his Instagram page showing him handing a bag with the two baby kangaroos inside, now named Margo and Todd, to a blind-folded Caroline while joking that they were designer purses. Um, what? Wild animals are NOT Christmas presents!

Luke captioned the Instagram video with “Brett’s barn additions,” referring to a barn the couple share on their Tennessee property, named after Brett, the daughter of Caroline’s brother Bo and his wife. After Brett died earlier this year at just seven months old, Luke and Caroline now house llamas, ponies, and other animals in his honor. It’s unclear if the two baby marsupials will remain as part of the Tennessee farm permanently.

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Caroline shared the below photo on her Instagram of Margo and Todd in front of a fireplace … very clearly, nothing at all like a kangaroos natural environment. Hundreds of concerned animal lovers have voiced their opinion stating that like all wild animals, Margo and Todd belong in the wild.

 

 

Wild animals, even the adorable ones, make terrible pets. We can only hope that Margo and Todd are placed in an adequate home and hopefully the family will eventually learn their lesson about keeping wild animals as pets

Sadly, it does not look like these little ones will ever get the chance to experience life in the wild. We do not know where they came from, but given they have spent their young lives being used as Christmas gifts, instead of training for survival in the wild with their mother, they can’t be released back to their native habitat. This is a shame because although kangaroos are some of Australia’s most iconic animals, they are also at risk from habitat loss due to urban expansion as well as cattle grazing. Instead of buying them as pets, we should be protecting them.

Unfortunately, this fad of taking animals from the wild to be pets is more common than we’d like to think. The majority of exotic pets are purchased as infants but they can become unmanageable and aggressive as they age (after all, they are wild). The desire to own exotic animals is often short-lived, yet it is the animals who suffer in the long run. For instance, it’s estimated that over 5,000 tigers reside in U.S. homes; that’s more tigers in captivity than there are left in the wild! Born Free USA has documented over 2,000 attacks, incidents and escapes involving exotic pets since 1990.

Exotic animals require stringent and specialized diets that are essential to their well-being. When their needs are not met, the animals wind up malnourished and develop illnesses and disease. Further, many exotic pet owners are not prepared to provide all the specific environmental and nutritional requirements that these animals require to thrive. No matter how nice your backyard set up may seem … it does NOT compare to the wild.

Protecting the wild populations of any species does not entail keeping them held captive as pets. Instead, we must continue to dissuade the public from buying exotic animals in an effort to reduce the demand that is currently fueling the illegal wildlife trade. If you are looking for a pet, consider adopting one of the millions of domestic animals waiting for homes in shelters. It is our responsibility to keep wild animals wild.

If you think gifting baby kangaroos for Christmas is a horrible idea, be sure to SHARE this post within your network to help raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade!

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Image Source: linabryan3/Instagram