- Joe B.
- Mckinney, TX
- United States
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Large number of wild animals as pets?
My daughter and I recently started volunteering at a wildlife rescue and education center for big cats. No, I’m not talking about over weight house cats but lions, tigers, cougars, cheetahs, panthers, etc. During our orientation, I was surprised to learn there are more tigers kept as pets in the United States (~12,000) than there are in the wild (~4,000). Statistics from the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition (cwapc.org) indicate there are up to 20,000 big cats in private ownership in the U.S. alone.
These animals are typically purchased as kittens without much consideration for their needs as they grow and become adults. Most end up dead or at a rescue facility where they remain for the rest of their lives. These animals can’t be introduced to the wild due to their exposure to humans and inability to hunt and care for themselves. Plus, their habitats are shrinking due to human encroachment.
Reputable rescue facilities spade and neuter the animals they take-in. This puts a small dent in the growing problem.
I’m wondering if there are any innovative ideas about how this problem and similar problems with other wild species (primates, large snakes/reptiles, etc) could be solved.