Take the Pledge: Keep Exotic Animals In Their Natural Habitats!

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Exotic animals should stay in their natural environments, not kept as pets. Sign the pledge!


Exotic animals such as iguanas, snakes, and wallabies are no doubt beautiful and fascinating creatures. It's tempting to think they'd make great household pets. But the reality is taking exotic and unusual animals out of their natural habitats is detrimental to their health and survival. These animals subsist on aspects of their environment that cannot be fully replicated in a domestic setting.

Even when purchased as infants, exotic pets can become unmanageable and aggressive as they grow. In the meantime, they require stringent and specialized diets, care and housing to stay healthy and thrive1.

When their needs are not met, these animals wind up malnourished, sick and suffering from behavioral issues that many exotic pet owners are not prepared to handle.

At that point, it's unlikely the animal will ever find the comfort and care it needs. All the zoos and accredited institutions in the world do not have room for the number exotic animals currently held for sale by less prepared (or less scrupulous) individuals. Consequently, the majority of these animals are euthanized, abandoned, or doomed to live in deplorable conditions2.

There are over a thousand reports of exotic pets escaping their enclosures at private residences. And these are only the incidents that are reported. Many exotic pet owners stop short of reporting the escape, as it could result in the surrender of their pet. Many escapes go unreported every year. This has led to people being strangled by large pet snakes, or mauled by pet bears, chimpanzees and big cats1.

Afterward these animals are typically killed on sight, their lives ended for simply acting on their instincts1.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have all taken positions against owning certain exotic animals, as they can carry zoonotic diseases, posing a much larger problem to communities than danger of escape2.

Diseases such as Brucellosis, Salmonella and Ringworm can be transferred from animals to humans. Exotic animals often carry parasites, as well, that can be transmitted to humans or other pets3.

Exotic animals are unpredictable and pose threats to human safety. Owning one for personal satisfaction simply isn't worth the consequences of removing the animal from its natural home. Sign the pledge below saying you will not procure an exotic pet and do not support this industry.

  1. Corinne Henn, One Green Planet (2018), "Here's Why Exotic Animals Belong in the Wild, Not as 'Pets' in Our Backyards."
  2. Born Free USA (2021), "The Dangers of Keeping Exotic Pets."
  3. Progressive Animal Welfare Society (2021), "Keeping Wild Animals: Unsafe, Illegal and Inhumane."
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The Pledge:

As a steward of the Earth's inhabitants and a friend to all species who make their home here, I pledge to keep exotic animals in their natural habitats.

To this end:

  1. I will not support the exotic animal trade or businesses that profit off the sales of exotic animals
  2. I will honor the lives of exotic animals by enjoying their beauty from a safe distance
  3. I will never chase, harm, or intentionally harass an exotic animal
  4. I will never feed or touch an exotic animal unless as part of an official conservation program
  5. I will do my best to "Leave No Trace" in places where exotic animals live

I recognize the vital importance of our wildlife, and will share this pledge with others to ensure a healthier, safer future for all species.

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