Pets are defined as domesticated animals that are kept for personal preference. When most people think of pets, their thoughts turn to a dog, a man's best friend; a cat, a woman's best friend; or maybe a hamster, which could be considered a child's best friend.
There are some people, though, who think there are other -- wilder -- animals that could be considered pets.
Some of these "exotic" pets have made headlines within past years, such as chimpanzee attacks as well as a growing python population in Florida.
While the headlines cast a negative light on having exotic pets, there are definitely things to consider and look at before obtaining one. For instance, there exists an Oklahoma statute stating that no one would be able to raise, breed or possess any native wildlife animal for commercial use without a commercial license. Most people aren't going to use their pet for public exhibit, but it's still something good to know.
We've given you a run-down of a few of the most popular animals and what to mull over if you're thinking about becoming the owner of one of these exotic pets.
Python: Throughout the Everglades in Florida, the Burmese pythons are running rampant as several pets and their offspring were released by their owners. According to the PetPlace website, many pythons that are chosen for pets are hatched domestically or are captive bred.
For some pythons, such as a ball python, they can grow as large as five feet, but the Burmese pythons can grow as large as 20 feet and live as long as 25 years. The handling of the Burmese pythons can be extremely dangerous for owners as they crush their prey in order to eat. Therefore, if they're not handled properly, the owner can be crushed to death.
Be careful in making the decision to care for this one as it needs a large enclosure for a home as well as it must be handled and cared for by the owner from an early age on.
Hybrid Cats: We're not talking about one cat breed mixing with another breed here. This is more about large cats mixing species (such as ligers -- a lion and tiger mix).
These are truly wild animals that many advocate should be left in nature and not cared for as pets.
They prove to be a danger to actual domestic animals as there have been reports of these cats killing other cats, dogs and so forth.
The cat might be pretty in their cub form, but they do grow up and turn into dangerous predators.
Tarantulas: Tarantulas are nothing new to the pet game as many kids and families might have had a pet tarantula in the home.
They are not necessarily dangerous, but some types can prove to be in greater need of care than others.
Also, the pet owner is more dangerous to the tarantula than it is the other way around. If the spider is dropped or it happens to fall while in the hands of a trainer, it can be injured or even killed.
Many people know that the bite of the tarantula is venomous; however it is not so venomous that it would need immediate medical treatment. According to About.com, most bites can be equated to the sting of a bee or wasp; though, if someone is allergic, the bite can prove to be extremely dangerous.
In addition, the hairs of a spider (especially if it feels in danger or frightened) can cause a great deal of irritation to the skin and to the eyes if they're rubbed.
Tarantulas could make a frightening or cool sight in the home, but there are still considerations to be made in their domestic keeping.
Ferrets: Throughout the years, ferrets have become more and more common as household pets. Many people might consider a ferret to be a similar animal to a cat and/or dog; however, there are several things to weigh before deciding that a ferret is the right one for your family. For instance, ferrets.org recommends that if the household has young children, families should not take on a ferret as children and the animal have an "excessive exuberance."
On the other side of things, ferrets have a great deal of health issues to be taken into account, such as sudden illnesses and accidents that may occur due to its high metabolism. They also have a particular diet to follow, which includes, high-quality, dry ferret or kitten food.
That's not to discourage one looking into a ferret as a pet, though, as many of them could be wonderful for those in apartments as they wouldn't need a great deal of space, as well as they don't claw furniture, make loud noises or mark their territory, which are always great factors when looking at a pet. Do your homework on this one if you're looking to make it a part of your family.
Chimpanzee: One of the most controversial pets throughout the past couple of years is the chimpanzee. This came to light, especially, last year when a woman -- who knew the chimp and its owner very well -- in Connecticut was viciously attacked by a chimpanzee named Travis and had a great deal of her face torn off.
The website, Chimphaven.org, warns against having chimpanzees as pets as they are wild animals. On the site, they say, "As the chimpanzee grows - possessing seven to 10 times the strength of a human - it has to be locked away. Even if unintentional, the chimpanzee can inflict deadly damage to the humans who care for him." In addition, the website said that many potential owners don't realize the amount of time and dedication needed toward chimps as many of them live for 50 to 60 years, and as they become older, they become too strong and too clever to handle.
While a chimpanzee might seem like a fun idea of a pet, especially as they are said to host similar DNA that humans have, they might not be the best choice for your next pet.
Share this article: