Wild "pets"

Meghan - posted on 06/22/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/weird/Pet...

I just watched a show on TLC last weekend about people having "monkey babies" and remembered hearing about this last year and wanted to get some thoughts on it.
Is it really a good idea to raise and live with a wild animal? The whole idea seems very strange to me!

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Charlene - posted on 06/30/2010

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We had a pet skunk growing up.
And by 'pet' I mean, we watched it out the window as my grandmother fed it.
We also had a pet Raven after it flew into our window and hurt it's wing. We kept it while it's wing healed and then we set it free. That's about as wild as we got.

But I think, if a person has the money to make a proper habitat, hire a professional to help care for it, etc. then it's their prerogative. I just am not a fan of letting children around animals like a tiger or an ape.

Jackie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I think it takes something like 13 generations to domesticate a wild animal.

LaCi - posted on 06/25/2010

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""My son and I were playing with a panda doll, throwing it to each other, when I dropped with the toy" into the pen, Zhang said."

He was just defending his fellow panda. lol

Sharon - posted on 06/24/2010

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haha! Thanks Jenn - I knew that there were panda attacks out there. I just haven't had time to look them up.

A pet panda & a pet koala... would be soooo cool. And pricey as hell to feed. Geeze. One only eats bamboo and the other only eats eucalyptus tree leaves? or something like that.

LaCi - posted on 06/24/2010

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PANDAS? I'm in!!

You never hear about a panda attack. I googled it years ago to find a video and the most I could find was a panda stealing a guys jacket to use as a pillow. Its like the bear all the other bears make fun of for being wimpy. :D


I agree with Sharon, it can be done safely and without cruelty. Its weirdo's like the woman who owned the notorious face eating chimpanzee who are the problem. Her heart was in the right place but she really didn't know what she was doing, and that's the real problem. People need to appropriate resources, knowledge, and capabilities with all animals, wild or not.

Sharon - posted on 06/23/2010

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Not the way people see it. Now they have a "tame" lion. A big huggable cat. It looks wild but its safe. What we can't seem to convince people is that simply raising an animal with love and discipline will NOT over ride any instincts.

If someone hadn't done it hundreds/thousands of years ago we wouldn't have our persian cats or beagles.

We wouldn't have a gazillion colors of lovebirds and budgies. It has to start somewhere.

AND the breeding of rare wild animals.... has to be done now. We're killing our environment, destroying theirs, trying to keep them crammed on a few paltry acres or few paltry hundred/thousand acres and its not working to keep their populations up (think pandas).

Pandas get the news becasue they're so damned cute!! Seriously, if someone came up to you and offered you a pet panda, guaranteed tame, this was an absolute, wouldn't you at least want to touch it? Well, I would.

Ok that was off my main point, there are tons of other rare animals dying off and you guys never hear about them. Reptiles & amphibians are among them. Most of my FB friends are into those. Most of that group breed the rarest of the rare. I'm talking these guys have devoted rooms to the rearing of these animals and their foods. A couple of them have special refrigerators dedicated to housing the animals because they can only at 32F or something insane like that. I love these people. With no grants from the government they are funding the incredibly expensive species propagation programs that zoos dream of.

Its all part and parcel. You can't tell people they can't have a pet lion without including the salamanders or ferrets or fox.

What we need to do is hold people accountable for the destruction, maiming & excess pets the idiots create.

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But if you breed the "wild" out of the wild animals, you're defeating the purpose of the whole thing, aren't you?

Sharon - posted on 06/23/2010

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You do breed personality. if oyou breed 1 bad tempered animal to another, you wind up with more bad tempered animals. Training only goes so far. You want to breed animals to decrease their natural instincts. Its easier in some animals than others.

No one "has" to do it. People do it because the call of the wild is so very strong. People WANT to touch a tiger. People want to touch dolphins, killer whales, lions, penguins...

If its going to be done, it should be done properly by knowledgeable people. It doesn't always work out that way.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/23/2010

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I agree. I don't think we know enough about animals and their instincts to risk trying to domesticate them. Especially around children.
Anyone heard that story about 'little tigers turn into big tigers and big tigers kill'? I remember hearing it as a kid. Story about a little boy who rescues a little tiger and grows up with it. One day as an adult he cuts himself and the tiger licks him... then animal instinct kicks in and he kills the man. I think it was meant to be one of those moral stories about little lies turning into big lies and big lies causing damage. Anyway can't remember why I brought that up.
On a side note, my friend owns 2 MASSIVE pythons... eek.

Krista - posted on 06/23/2010

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And rearing an animal from birth does not guarantee that you're going to wind up with a domesticated animal. Most animals that are domesticated have done so via many, many generations of breeding and socialization. Raising one from a baby is a different story -- there are still genetics and instinct at play. And those instincts can lie dormant for years, until something triggers them, resulting in a "tame" animal suddenly turning violent.

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2010

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I don't really like the idea of keeping any pets! Let alone "wild" ones!!

Sharon - posted on 06/23/2010

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Jen - but someone has to undertake that task. Someone has to be the one to come up with a breeding program that tracks the breeding of these animals and make the selections for which to use to propagate the program.

It is already happening, ocelots and oh geeze another small wild cat are being used in breeding programs to create a more domestic version.

I noticed no one mentioned the cruelty of keeping animals in cages. Birds were meant to fly and yet so many people think its best to keep them in cages were they can barely open their wings.

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I must disagree that it's no different from owning a dog from a baby. Domestic dogs have been bred as human pets for I'm not even sure how many thousands of years. Cats I believe for approximately 2-3 thousand years. A lot of wild behavior can be bred out in that time frame. Even if a tiger, for example, had been born in captivity, had its parents born in captivity up to 5 generations, it's still not enough time to breed out the instincts.

Even in domestic animals it's not possible to completely breed out certain instincts. Morris the housecat still wants to chase and hunt the birds outside his window.

2000 years down the road for tigers (if there are any left at that point), we'll talk then. :-)

Meghan - posted on 06/22/2010

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Aime, is it just me or is Billy the extermintor kinda hot (mullet and all? LOL)

Nicole - posted on 06/22/2010

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if they are wild animals such as monkeys,tigers etc etc i think its cruel to keep them as pets.in saying that i do not think that owning one from a baby is in anyway different to owning a dog or other domesticated animals.trained and raised properly any animal could or could not be harmfull to your children or you.there are wild dogs and wild cats but we still have them as pets dont we.as i child i had many baby possums they were so much fun,that is consisdered wild meanwhile my nextdoor neighbours lovely little poodle ate my cat mmm thats considered as a pet.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/22/2010

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I think that any animal can be kept as a pet in the right circumstances. The animal should of been bred as a pet and not caught from the wild, and obviously should be safe to be around any humans. You shouldn't have any dangerous animals around your child wether it's a dog or a tiger and you animal should be treated and free from any diseases it may harbour. When you think about it all domestic pets that are common now were once wild (and most still are), dogs, cats, horses, birds. However the act of treating an animal, no matter what bred it is (monkey, dog, pig, or whatever!), like a baby, child or human is quite disturbing and in my eyes that is just not right and that is where a lot of behavoral problems and health and safety issues stem from.

Amie - posted on 06/22/2010

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I think it's nuts!

I can't remember what show it was but a couple years ago I saw a couple on it with a pet PANTHER. WTF?!

Then a couple weeks ago I was watching Billy the Exterminator with my husband and someone had a pet Bobcat! He caught it (thinking it was wild because it was causing issues at someones home) but it had tags! =|

People have issues, that's my fall to excuse whenever I can't wrap my mind around why anyone would do something so stupid.

In the case of the panther "pet" they had children in their home too. /:)

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I think it's horribly cruel. When I hear about wild cats being kept as pets, I want to cry. I have 5 domestic cats. Big cats and wild cats are not like Morris. They have hunt and prey instincts for a reason. The saddest thing I ever saw was on Animal Planet. A bengal tiger had been kept as a private pet. Both his front and hind feet were declawed and his canines removed because his owner realized that wow - this cat can HURT PEOPLE and thought this would help. So while the tiger was rescued, he would never ever be able to socialize with other big cats because of his surgeries.

What breaks my heart is when people are inevitably wounded or killed by a 'wild pet', the animal is almost always euthanized.

Sharon - posted on 06/22/2010

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You want something as a pet, get it.

All animals require specialised care. Dogs require shots & training, cats need to be spayed & neutered, snakes need to be in cages, birds need spacious cages and special diets.

All animals started out wild. A long time ago someone decided they needed to domesticate them for various reasons.

Through time and specialized breeding we wound up with the domestic versions today.

If you want a chimpanzee as a pet, then you need to realize it is going to grow up to be a hormone driven wild card.

If you want a hot snake (poisonous) you need to bank against the day that you might be bitten and will require copious amounts of antivenin, NOT cheap treatment. You will also need to plan for the day that it will grow out of the cheap ass $10 10 gallon tank and will require a room of its own.

I've been a rehabber for a very long time. Your average person cannot adequately house a pet tiger or pet chimpanzee. But some people can. Some people understand that their contact with such pets will always be fraught with danger and limited and yet, greatly expanded versus your average person.

If I could do it, I would. If I didn't have small children, other pets, I'd own a big cat. I'd cage acres of land get two females, spay them, and spoon all my money into their specialized diets and care. But I'm smart enough to know that I have small kids, other obligations, and owning a big cat is just not practical.

We've "owned" a lot of wild animal. Pet raccoons, opposums, quail, turtles, and some even say ferrets are wild. They were awesome. I miss them tons. They were great pets. done the right way. people with chimpanzees are fooling themselves. Its one animal that is just to much human with to much animal.

It is soooo human, and sadly its given to fits of temper and anger with an animals' strength and drive to get what it wants. With disastrous consequences. You can't just raise it, then cage it away from people, you'd destroy the human personality, it would go mad with lonliness.

Parrots are a bit like that. So incredibly social. And yet, people think they can hand raise the babies and then disappear for 8 - 10 hours a day and have a sane bird years later. I've got 6 aviaries outside with psychotic birds in them. Raised by humans, they aren't afraid of them. Some birds go quietly insane plucking themselves until they are peeling the flesh from their bones, if you don't believe me - I'll get pictures for you.

These birds aren't bored, they're insane. I've helped so many get better and seen so many that people refused to let go of. convinced it wasn't their inaction that caused this, its a mite, fungus, whatever and that enough pills or washes will fix it.

In captivity with no exposure to any other bird, its rare that should be the case.

This is my pet project in life. I could go on for HOURS. So i'll shut up now.

Caitlin - posted on 06/22/2010

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Jocelyn - i've heard skunks make great pets, they are friendlier than cats and love sitting on your lap and being petted. That being said, i'd never keep a wild animal, especailly one that is out of it's natural environment (tigers, chimps.monkies etc...) because they can just snap. I think some types of lizards or frogs and snakes are okay, as long as they are not dangerous, but even then, only if the environment can be closely reproduced for that pet.

I think skunks and racoons, pigeons and squirels are almost tame near cities already, so it wouldn't be a stretch to have one as a pet, but here it is illegal to own any "wild" animals as pets.

Rosie - posted on 06/22/2010

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certain ones shouldn't be allowed, any poisonous or contricting snakes, monkeys, chimps (uh, remember the lady who's face and hands got tore off by her neighbors chimp?), alligators etc. basically anything that can kill you, i'm not too keen on.
we (not me -society) take other wild animals all the time and make them our own "pets" - lizards, scorpions, tarantulas, non lethal snakes, hell hamsters are wild somewhere. i have no problem with those things. the stories of i didn't know my python would eat my baby mystify me everytime...

Krista - posted on 06/22/2010

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I disagree strongly with keeping wild animals as pets. There have been too many cases where the animal escapes (or the owner gets tired of it or overwhelmed), and the poor creature has absolutely no idea how to survive in the wild. Plus, these animals are still unpredictable and can never be 100% tamed -- one never knows what might set them off.

Tanya - posted on 06/22/2010

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Was that the show where the lady calls a pet psychic to find out what is wrong with her monkey?

Jocelyn - posted on 06/22/2010

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I have ALWAYS wanted a skunk!!!! Ever since I was a little girl, and since you can get them "de-skunked" I still want one!
I think that wild animals as pets is fine, it all depends on things like, where you live, your experiences with similar animals etc.etc.

LaCi - posted on 06/22/2010

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It really depends on the animal to me. I always wanted a fennec fox- or any fox for that matter, and it isn't going to go nuts and kill people. I've raised tiny baby raccoons and squirrels until they were old enough to fend for themselves, and I don't so much have a problem with those. Raccoons are pretty awesome, actually.

When you take a dangerous animal and make it a pet, theres a problem. Not only that, but in no way could she have been able to provide anything at all like his natural environment, in the case of the chimp, and I think that's quite cruel.

And of course, with all wild animals people need to understand that they CAN'T be treated like normal pets. Even the less dangerous animals, a fox will still probably bite people and you have to be cautious to prevent anyone from being injured. Although, even normal pets need to be treated with more precaution IMO, stupid neighbor has an old fighting dog that she "saved" and she claims she doesn't bite, HAH. As soon as she said it is latched on to my boyfriends hand lol. It is a sweet dog, and it wasn't malicious, but it did tear his hand up.

Anyway, It depends on the animal with me, and even with less dangerous animals there need to be things owners are aware of and cautious of-with all pets.

Joanna - posted on 06/22/2010

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They are called WILD animals for a reason! They need to stay in the wild!

Meghan - posted on 06/22/2010

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I should have added some other things too...animals like large snakes or racoons...my ex wanted a racoon and I flipped and said NO way. I had hard enough time keeping up with the dog.
I guess maybe the situation here is people who can't/don't have kids and want companionship...obviously you SHOULDN'T have a freakin monkey around kids! But is it different if it is a single woman/couple who just want "love"

Erin - posted on 06/22/2010

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No, these animals are wild and have no business being people's pets. I know they are all so cute when they are little but they grow up, most of the time to be bigger than a human. There is NO WAY I would have a wild animal as a pet or visit someone that did.

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