Wildlife. Not Pets

Each year, millions of wild animals are captured from their natural habitats or born into captivity, just to become pets. Our houses are not suitable homes for a wild animal.

It is impossible to meet the needs of a wild animal when that animal is kept as a pet.

Snakes, parrots, iguanas, tortoises, and even otters – these are just some of the species removed from the wild and currently suffering as pets.

There are both legal and illegal aspects of the exotic pet trade. But legality doesn’t matter; whether an animal is poached from the wild or born in captivity, legal to own or illegal - it’s all cruel. And this trade is growing fast.

It is impossible to meet all of the needs for a wild animal if that animal is not in the wild. In a home or an enclosure, there is no way to replicate the space and freedom these animals enjoy in the wild.

Many are kept in spaces drastically smaller than their natural habitats. This means they can’t perform normal behaviors. Often, the animals do not receive the correct nutrition, even if owners try their best to feed them properly.

Simply, if they’re not in the wild they will experience some level of suffering.

This Indian star tortoise belongs in the wild

Why is it bad to have exotic pets?

Often, they’re shipped huge distances, and taken to countries vastly different from their original homes.
  • Basic needs not met: At least 75% of pet snakes, lizards, tortoises and turtles die within one year of becoming a pet
  • Cruel captive breeding: Artificial breeding in captivity can cause ball pythons serious genetic defects
  • Insufficient nutrition: Captive green iguanas can suffer from soft bones due to poor diet
  • Unhealthy human contact: Handling Indian star tortoises can cause them disease and death
  • Confined in tiny spaces: African grey parrots fly several miles a day in the wild

These animals suffer long before they reach our homes, too. Many so-called "exotic pets" suffocate and die in transit before they even reach pet stores.

Often, they’re shipped huge distances, and taken to countries vastly different from their original homes.

Shockingly, for example, 66% of African grey parrots like the one pictured above die in transit.

And poachers often kill adult otters protecting their young, so they can capture the younger animals before selling them.

Get a domesticated pet instead

We know people often purchase exotic pets because they’re animal lovers. Animals bring joy to our lives, so it’s understandable that we’d want them to be part of our homes.

We encourage everyone to appreciate and respect wild animals where they belong – in the wild.

Many exotic pet owners, however, are unaware of the daily suffering their animals endure.

We encourage everyone to appreciate and respect wild animals where they belong – in the wild. We should only share our homes with domesticated animals who’ve evolved over thousands of years to be our companions, and whose needs can be completely met as pets.

We're asking you to be a wildlife protector by pledging not to buy wild animals as pets.

Sign our exotic pet pledge and help us protect wildlife by keeping them where they belong. In the wild.

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