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Filed under Feature, Opinion

Exotic Animals: Are They Worth the Risk?

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It is a common debate among avid animal-lovers if exotic pets should be legal to own or not. While some people believe that exotic animals can be an incredible learning experience, others think that these animals are dangerous and risky to own. According to pethelpful.com, the some of the most dangerous pets include “large cats, monkeys, chimpanzees, and bears.” There have been numerous cases of exotic animals suddenly injuring their owners or becoming a danger to society if they were to escape.

In October 2011, a series of sheriff deputies arrived in Zanesville, Ohio to find a multitude of exotic animals on the loose. In fear that the escaped animals would injure civilians, officers were forced to open fire. The animals had been released by their owner, Terry Thompson, who then committed suicide. This event, in particular, was a tragedy due to the overwhelming number of animals, some on the brink of extinction, that had to die for no reason. Over 45 animals had been killed by the time the massacre was over. However, the authorities were able to subdue the animals before any humans were severely injured or killed.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In February 2009, a woman named Charla Nash visited her friend, Sandra Herold in Stamford, Connecticut. Sandra’s chimp “latched onto Nash’s face and tore it apart,” according to content.time.com. While Nash lies in the street injured, “One team of officers searched the woods for Travis, while another formed a protective cordon around the paramedics ministering to Nash.” The chimpanzee was later shot by an officer

and died in his home. The crime scene was very gruesome, and it is a miracle that Nash, the victim, survived.

While many smaller exotic animals can live with their owner in harmony, the risk of owning large cats (or other big animals) is often thought to not be worth the hazard. One website, channel.nationalgeographic.com, posted an infographic stating that over 540 people have been a victim of exotic animal injuries. Many states are introducing or enforcing laws that prohibit the ownership of such dangerous animals. Hopefully, this will help prevent potential danger or death in the future. Before anyone decides to buy an exotic pet, they need to understand the risks they are taking by putting their safety in jeopardy.

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Exotic Animals: Are They Worth the Risk?