Killer exotic pets

Your average pet may be a cat or dog, but have you thought of an exotic animal? The World Animal Protection organisation advises to never own, breed, or sell an exotic animal.

Big cats, reptiles and some ‘pocket pets’ such as hamsters and hedgehogs, are illegal in Australia but are the most commonly kept exotic pets. Many of these animals suffer through illegal transportation only to meet to even greater misfortune when raised by ignorant people.


Birds generally have their beaks, feet and wings tapped and stuffed into tight places. Baby pythons and eggs are shoved into tiny CD cases. Nearly a third of all exotic animals die during transportation.

The animals that do survive the gruelling delivery experience agonizing physical and emotional pain from malnutrition, uncomfortable confinement and stress from loneliness. A Yougov organisation survey revealed that 24% of exotic pet owners had no prior knowledge or even researched prior to the purchase of their pet.

Simone Clarke, Executive Director ANZ for World Animal Protection says, “Once they are in people’s homes, there is no realistic way to replicate the space and freedom these animals would have in the wild.”

PHOTO: One Green Planet

Exotic pets also pose a risk to the owner.

In late 2012, another man almost lost his right hand after his 3ft pet monkey suddenly attacked and ripped apart his flesh, also leaving deep bites along his body in the process.

There have been 75 deaths from 1990 to 2011, caused by these exotic animals. These animals either snapped from stress or were merely behaving as they would in the wild.


An enormous amount of exotic pets may also carry life threatening diseases.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that an estimate of 90% of reptiles carry salmonella in their faeces. Herpes B and monkey pox are also active in these animals.

Exotic animals are not meant to be kept for pets. The danger to these animals and the danger that these animals possess should be more than enough to throw anyone off.