You’ve seen the alligator snapping turtle, the beautiful green basilisk lizard, and maybe even a chinchilla or two. But how many of us have been lucky enough to see these creatures in person? We all know that exotic pets have become more popular; what we don’t know is why people are wanting animals like reptiles and amphibians as pets.
It’s not just because it is a trend, nor is it because they are cute and furry as some people say. In fact, the main reason why exotic pets have become more popular is because of what you can learn from them.
Scientifically speaking, taking care of an animal that has been labeled as “exotic” teaches us more about the animal’s behavior, their habitat needs, and how they survive in nature. It also gives us insight into what animals live alongside them, which is important for conservation.
Exotic pets can teach us things like what foods to feed them; if you give your iguana fruit, they will get sick because their digestive system isn’t built to handle the sugar in the fruit.
An example of this would be if you were to give your turtle beef heart. Turtles are omnivores and have a diet consisting of many different organisms ranging from snails, insects, fish, berries, mushrooms (and much more). Feeding a turtle only beef heart is not what its body needs to survive.
When you study animals in the wild, they are very hard to find! There are many factors that go into studying, for example, how to protect them from poachers and other dangers. Wildlife populations are being threatened at an alarming rate due to climate change, pollution, and habitat loss.
We need to know more about these animals so we can protect them! The only way to do this is by studying threatened species in the wild. By having an animal in your home, you are helping with their conservation because you are taking care of one yourself.
It takes work, time, commitment, and of course, love to take care of an exotic pet. These animals require special diets, enrichment, and warmth during certain seasons. Some even need rainwater collected so their bodies don’t get salt water poisoning.
Some of the most popular pets are reptiles, amphibians, insects (like tarantulas), birds (like macaws), arachnids (like tarantulas and scorpions), and of course, the ever-popular chinchilla.
Each animal has its own diet and habitat needs. Reptiles and amphibians, for example, need a place to hibernate and somewhere moist to burrow into during the summertime. If their cage is too warm, they will likely die from heat stroke.
Insects need to be misted with water every day because they can dehydrate quickly. A big issue for animal owners is when their pets escape and become a problem for the local ecosystem. This doesn’t happen as often as people think, but it does happen more frequently than we would like.
Exotic animals are not allowed to be released into the wild, because they could change an ecosystem. They would either die from starvation or become prey for other animals.
It is important to understand that many of these exotic pets have to be euthanized if their owners can no longer care for them. If your animal gets too big for its cage, you might have to find a new home for it, because you don’t want your pet getting hurt.
The next time you see an exotic animal in the wild, think about what you are learning by having one as a pet.