Born 2 B Wild

Where the animals should be

The Stories

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own an exotic animal as a pet? Maybe a tiger, a bear, a monkey.... maybe even a hippo? Well, so did these people, but this is what happened.

The Hippo

40 year old farmer, Marius Els, was killed by his pet hippo, Humphrey, when Marius was riding on Humphrey's back. Humphrey bit Marius in the leg, and then dragged him down into the water, killing him.

"Humphrey's like a son to me," Marius said before accident. "There's a relationship between me and Humphrey and that's what people don't understand." Marius added. " They think that you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa." Marius claimed that Humphrey was a "gentle giant," but Humphrey was known to cause trouble. Earlier that year, he chased a canoeist and his grandson into a tree and broke out of his cage to chase golfers.

The Bear

Kelly Ann Walz was cleaning the family bears cage, whose name was Teddy, when he attacked and killed her. Although most cages for wild animals have a section where the animal can be when the owner cleans the cage, Kelly cleaned Teddy's cage when he was loose. The neighbor and children, along with Kelly's children, saw the attack and called for help. Before help arrived, the neighbor shot and killed the 350 pound black bear when it was on top of Kelly.

The Dangers for us

  • As you have just read, some animals attack their owners, and sometimes the owner doesn't survive.
  • Exotic pets can carry diseases such as rabies, ringworm, monkey pox, measles, and many others. And if you have an exotic pet, you could get some of these diseases yourself.
  • Exotic animals behaviors can change at different stages of their lives. And the owner doesn't always understand that.

The Dangers for the Animal

  • When some animals attack their owners, they get released back into the wild or are brought to zoos, but this is not always the case. Some animals are killed for harming or even killing their owners. Sometimes the animal is shot to end it right then and there, but sometimes, the animal is beaten and neglected.
  • Some animals, like monkeys and cheetahs, can run or jump all over the place to get exercise, but in captivity, they don't get that freedom to exercise like they would in the wild.
  • Most of these animals live their lives in captivity, in cages. Or they're chained up because the owner can not provide all the animals needs.
  • Animals in captivity can get stress and behavior disorders because they are not getting the care they need from their owner.
  • Exotic pets will most likely not receive the needed care because, first of all, they can be illegal and the owner doesn't want to get caught having an illegal pet, but also because it's hard to find vets that will have enough knowledge on your pet. So you usually have to make a trip to the zoo. And because they don't get their proper care, they often become very sick and you may not even notice until it's too late.
  • Some animals are endangered, and those are the animals that the exotic pet dealers want the most because they'd get more money for them. Well, if you get an endangered pet, that species could wipe out. An expert isn't going to just show up at your door and help you save the species like in the movie Rio.
  • Like what happened to the chinchillas, that species may eventually only be found in captivity.

The Dangers for the Enviornment

Don't just think that there are dangers for us people and the animals. This is dangerous for the environment too. Now how is that you may ask. Well, for starters, the ecosystem can completely crumble and the habitat can get invaded by species who aren't supposed to be there.

  • When you get an exotic pet, that puts a small dent in the food chain of it's natural environment, but if there aren't a lot of that species or a lot are being taken away, that creates a huge hole in the food chain and this can harm that animals old home.
  • Some exotic pet owners can not properly care for their pet. So they think that putting them back into the wild will work. Well, this is not always the case. That animal could have foreign diseases to that environment and those diseases can spread. And when an animal is in captivity, they will most likely lose their senses of survival in the wild, and because of this, that animal will probably die.

Is this even legal?

  • In Kentucky, it is illegal to own lions, tigers, non-human primates, and dangerous reptiles.
  • In some states, you can own an exotic pet, but you need a licenses to do so.
  • The Central for Diseases Control and Prevention(CDC), American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA), and the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) have all opposed owning certain exotic animals as pets.
  • The government does their best to prevent having exotic animals as pets, but they often come too late. And the exotic pet dealers and exotic animal pet shop have a way with avoiding the law.

The Numbers

  • Did you know that between the year 1990 and 2011 that 75 people died due to exotic pet attacks?
  • 5,000 to 7,000 tigers are kept in captivity, that's more than the amount of tigers in the wild! There are only 3,200 tigers living in the wild today, which is at an all time low.
  • 90% of reptiles have salmonella poisoning, which is found in their feces.
  • 1,610 accidents involving exotic pets occurred between 1990 and 2011.
  • About 11% of the salmonella illness is found in children who have been in contact with both infected reptiles and hamsters.
  • About 543 people have been injured by exotic pets, when 75 have died between 1990 and 2011.
  • About 55 animals have been injured, but 200 have died between 1990 and 2011.

The Experts

  • "Despite the fact that nearly 12.6 million of 60 million pet-owning households in the U.S. own exotic pets," Dr. Laurie Hess, an exotic animal expert and bird specialist said. "exotic pet owners still rarely think about bringing their animals to the vet after they purchase or adopt them."
  • "We know much more than we did 20 years ago about how to keep these animals healthy, and we have such great technology available to help treat them when they are ill. If only people would bring them to veterinarians to learn how to care for them properly to prevent disease, animals would have a better quality of life, and pet owners would save money on treatment." Dr. Laurie Hess said.

Born 2 B Wild Organization

Born 2 B Wild's mission is to save exotic animals from having to live their lives in captivity. We want to save Mother Nature and all it's creations.

Sources

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"6 Tragic Stories of Exotic Pet Ownership Gone Wrong." TreeHugger. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/6-tragic-stories-exotic-pet-ownership-gone-wrong.html>.


"Dr. Laurie Hess, Exotic Animal Veterinarian & Bird Specialist, Advocates Medical Care For Exotic Pets." Dr. Laurie Hess, Exotic Animal Veterinarian & Bird Specialist, Advocates Medical.... N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dr-laurie-hess-exotic-animal-veterinarian--bird-specialist-advocates-medical-care-for-exotic-pets-213848101.html>.


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"Farmer Killed by Hippo 'Son'." Newser. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://www.newser.com/story/133359/south-african-farmer-marius-els-killed-by-pet-hippo.html Kelly Ann Walz was cleaning the family bears cage, whose name was Teddy, when>.


"Follow on Facebook." LiveScience.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://m.livescience.com/16815-exotic-pets-wildlife-infographic.html>.


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"Summary of State Laws Relating to Private Possession of Exotic Animals."Summary of State Laws Relating to Private Possession of Exotic Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2014. <http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_a