Wild Animals As Pets Isn’t Really Smart

Mother who let a TIGER, a fox, a cougar, monkeys and a skunk roam around her Texas home is charged with endangering her daughter, 14 is a news story that both amuses and alarms me.  My parents let me keep a huge number of wild animals who actually lived in the house with me.  No one arrested anyone over this but then, we lived outside of any cities, out in the wild countryside…


List of my pets that weren’t all my dogs, cats or horses, starting with my first ones: Spotty, the Rocky Mountain skunk who was left under my bed by my cat, Door Kitty.


Boy Goose who followed me everywhere when I was less than 5 years old.


Then along came Bob the Cat (note how a child doesn’t do complicated names) who was put under my bed by my cat, Snowball (OK, her name was slightly more complicated):


He became the spokescat for the Desert Museum in Tucson after he tore up my mother’s new living room curtains while I was playing with him inside the house.


My pet alligator left the house one night when someone left the sliding glass door open and died in the pool due to the freezing cold night, poor baby.  My mother said no more alligators.


Then when I was a teenager, this Gila Monster moved in with us.  My mother made us turn him loose again.  Highly poisonous but he never bit me, insane as this is.


I had four roadrunners who followed me around all this time, ate out of my hands, went to my bus stop with me and slept on the roof above my bedroom window at night.


Then there was my pet crow who fell out of his nest when a baby and which lived with us for quite a while.  Smart bird.

Those of us who live with many animals, and I have had sheep, goats, horses, oxen, dogs, many cats, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks etc. etc. easily tame and live with wild animals, too.  It comes naturally.  Easy as anything, once you can figure out one critter, the rest comes along pretty easily.


But keeping wild animals should be discouraged.  I had to give up all my wild animals, mostly I rehabilitated them so they could live in the wild and looked after them when they left, but Bob the Cat didn’t have that, he went to the Desert Museum to be their spokes-kitty because he would have been shot in the wild, being unafraid of hunters.


Spotty the Skunk went there, too.  Since she was hand-tamed from near birth, it was safer for her.  People who collect wild pets today mostly buy them from dealers who keep former wild animals in cages and breed them.  I am totally against this.


All my wild friends came to me via happenstance, except for the alligator, yes, I fell for that one and learned a hard lesson from it.  Otherwise, they were all wild animals I kept when they were babies and doomed to death and gave them all life and then did the right thing with them.


Wild animals are not safe pets and it is like taking in pit bull dogs: you never know when they will decide to kill someone.  And it is simply cruel to keep them penned up.  There are plenty of domestic animals who are interesting and safer.


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5 responses to “Wild Animals As Pets Isn’t Really Smart

  1. billibaldi

    The animal communication bit , for other readers, is a reported side effect of NDE. Also the ability to affect watches and electronic devices, and sensitivity to weather.

    I would certainly reiterate the bit about wild animals, it almost always ended badly for the wild animal. (Childhood in Africa.)

  2. emsnews

    Yes, I was very very careful when I got older than 10 years, in the ‘rehabilitation’ of wild animals and did this quite successfully as time went on. Learned a lot about this process over the years.

    You had a very interesting childhood, I am betting. If you want to chat about it, I am all ears! Were you in Kenya?

  3. Lou

    Remember the Bengal Tigers in Ohio [a few years ago]?

    The government killed a significant number of the Bengals IN THE WORLD when it killed them.


  4. Shawntoh


    Any comments about ferrets? I had Missouri neighbors in the Age of Reagan who had a pet ferret, and I hated the thing. It was like a cat with sharp teeth, and it playfully “nipped” me a few times affectionately.

    The owner had it somewhat under control but I pondered it and realized I wanted nothing to do with visiting the neighbor with a little beast like that underfoot named “Stinky”!

    Ferrets are important but they need to remain “in the wild”.


  5. Felinus

    Domestic/pet shop ferrets do not do well in the wild. Likely originating from European polecats, they are largely bred for medical research, and are particularly useful in development of human flu vaccines. Unfortunately this in- breeding makes them prone to several life-shortening illnesses, though some breeders maintain more viable strains. I have had numerous ferrets, which cohabitated well with our dogs and cats, often as the alpha male/female. When gently handraised from a young age they are somewhat like strange and affectionate little dogs. One of our dogs even ‘adopted’ one as her pup, who would follow her off leash on woodland trails (really!). Though disgusting to some, we have had cold winter nights with dogs and cat on the bed, ferrets between the blankets and we humans under all of it. Some ferrets have a keen sense of character and unerringly pick out liars and BS artists. They are collectors of shiny and chewy objects. Ferrets are NOT for families with babies or small children, they will nip if startled and will wreak havoc if allowed to run free. Though it took years to find all the secret poop-corners and collection caches, we still miss our ‘stinky’ family friends.

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