When man feels the call of the wild he can do some pretty mind-blowing things—climbing mountains, catching massive waves off the Great Barrier Reef, and living off the land. However, there’s a difference between embracing nature and taking wild animals on as domestic pets. Since the early 1970s, the U.S. has restricted the commercial importing of endangered species for good reason.
Here are a few examples of why the perilous attraction of owning an exotic pet can be a boneheaded, selfish decision…
The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries estimates that 5,000 captive tigers are residents of the United States—the large majority live with private owners rather than in accredited zoos. Mountain lions are also popular exotic pets. One former mountain lion owner, Amber Michelle Couch, of Odessa, Texas, found out the wrong way after her 4-year-old nephew was almost mauled to death by her 12-year-old, 150 feline pet after the child got too close to the cage. The boy suffered multiple lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body and face. Miraculously the boy survived, but the lion had to be euthanized.