Why chimpanzees are not kept as pets

Why it is better not to keep exotic pets

Legal and illegal trade

There is, the legal trade in exotic animals on a large scale. The animals for this are often bred in captivity. On the other hand, there is a huge illegal trade in animals that go to potent buyers from their natural habitat. This illegal trade poses a massive threat to endangered species. Thousands of the animals caught die within the first year. In whatever way wildlife becomes pets, environmentalists and veterinarians point out that most buyers have no idea what it means to care for such an animal. The welfare of animals, but also of people, is at stake.


Many people are afraid of snakes. The cold-blooded reptiles are scary to them. And yet reptiles are popular as pets. At least as long as they don't get big. If they blow up their terrariums and the imagination of their owners, the animals often end up in a poor state of health with veterinarians. Above all, improper posture and improper diet are the reasons for this. In Florida, abandoned tiger pythons (see picture) have been an invasive species since the 1980s, posing a threat to native species and even humans.


You can't go wrong with turtles, can you? They are very cute, indolent and obviously also undemanding. No, that's not right. When the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Ninja Turtles) hit the screens 30 years ago, all kids wanted a turtle. But the red-eared slider turtles that have been on TV and cinema as crime fighters need a lot of care when they are fully grown. The animals live to be 30 years old and do not stay small and cute. As a result, soon after the hype, thousands of eared turtles ended up on the streets. In the UK, for example, the animals sparked a national environmental crisis because the abandoned animals ate native species and made their way into the ecosystem. Another catch is that turtles can transmit salmonella.


Environmentalists in and of themselves have no problem with raising birds in captivity. However, the wild catch should then stop. However, this is not the case. Thousands of birds are still caught in the wild and sold around the world, says the WWF. Many of the particularly sought-after species are already threatened. Often there are only a few hundred copies left. The yellow and breasted macaw is such an example. The animals are popular. The illegal trade has largely destroyed the natural population, says the WWF. The highly intelligent birds need a lot of attention and that for a lifetime. They live to be up to 60 years old.


Tens of thousands of monkeys are trafficked illegally each year. Often they have to live in the most appalling conditions to meet the demand for marmosets, capuchin monkeys and pygmy marmosets (see picture). According to the British animal welfare group RSPCA, rescued primates were found in glass-clad cupboards and aviaries, some with broken or deformed bones because they were malnourished or received too little sunlight. In addition, monkeys are very expensive and need a lot of attention because, like humans, they otherwise suffer psychological damage. When they are fully grown, the animals often become aggressive and can also transmit diseases such as zoonotic pathogens, monkey pox and herpes B viruses. "Regardless of whether they were born in captivity or in the wild, primates are wild animals that must by no means be kept as pets, no matter how well the owner means it," says the #link: http: //www.rspca .org.uk / adviceandwelfare / pets / other / primates: RSPCA #.

Great apes

The same applies to great apes as to their smaller relatives. All great ape species are listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This list only shows animal species that are acutely threatened with extinction and that are not allowed to be traded under any circumstances. However, this does not detract from illegal trade. For example, there are barely 60,000 orangutans left in the wild because they are still captured, especially as babies. Poachers often kill the dams to get the young, says Noga Shanee from the #link: http://www.neoprimate.org/index.php/en/: Neotropical Primate Conservation #. Because monkeys also grow up more slowly than other animals, they are tame and cute for a longer period of time. However, when grown up, great apes are difficult to assess. They can also become aggressive and are therefore not suitable as pets, according to #link: http: //www.un-grasp.org: Great Ape Survival Project #.

Big cats

This may not come as a surprise now, but big cats are not ideal pets. They are aggressive predators and require a fair amount of professional experience. Perhaps more surprising is that thousands of wild cats are still kept as pets. According to #link: http: //www.worldwildlife.org/stories/more-tigers-in-american-backyards-than-in-the-wild: WWF, there are more wild tigers # in backyards in the USA than in the free world Nature. Lax monitoring of captive tigers also means that many of them are not kept adequately safe. This has potentially devastating consequences for humans and tigers alike. In a #link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/zanesville-animal-massacre-included-18-rare-bengal-tigers/story? Id = 14767017: major incident # in the US state of Ohio, security guards had to 18 Shoot rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions because their owners let the animals out. According to WWF, incomplete or lack of monitoring of captive animals ensures that they can end up on the black market. This in turn creates even greater demand and puts pressure on populations in the wild.