After Chimp Attack, should people be allowed to keep exotic pets?
After Travis the Chimp attacked his owner's friend earlier this week, it started to raise all kinds of questions about what people should and should not be allowed to keep as pets, and the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition (CWAPC) currently states that there are about 7,000 tigers being kept as pets in the United States, which is more than how many are left in the wild in Asia.
How is this possible you ask?
Well most states do not require a license to keep an exotic pet, and according to the CWAPC, about 20,000 big cats (such as tigers, lions, leopards etc) and about 3,000 great apes.
However, as Travis demonstrated, things can go wrong in the blink of an eye.
"Tigers are awfully cute when they're cubs," said Murphy a genial and soft-spoken 32-year-old out of the Jimmy Stewart mold. "But for an idea of what they'll be like when they grow up, look at domestic cats when they're out in the yard, and watch what they do to small animals. Now add four hundred pounds to that."
"Tigers' instincts make them dangerous," explained veteran animal handler Wilbur McCauley. "There's no such thing as 'tamed.' When their instincts are triggered, no matter how much they love you, they don't know they love you."
A quick search on the internet revealed some sites explaining why it's better to keep exotic pets, mostly because
Exotic pets are a little bit more challenging than your average dog or cat.
Other sites warn against the dangers of keeping exotic pets, such as
First of all, the pet part. . . A pet is an animal that lives with you like a kind of friend or room mate. A pet is an animal that you keep just because you like it.
It's not a working animal. And it's NOT for food!
Some people like to keep tigers and other exotic animals as pets so that they can kill them later or sell their parts, especially tiger parts and others just want to be known in the neighbourhood as 'the one with the tiger for a pet'.