Private Ownership of Exotics
The motivation behind owning an exotic pet in the modern age is much the same as it was were centuries ago. The possession of a non-native animal can grant one a certain prestige that is often associated with owning purebred cats or dogs. As a symbol of power and exclusivity, to own a tiger or other large carnivore is an assertion of dominance over the apex predators of the animal kingdom. Likewise, to keep poisonous snakes requires a certain level of confidence in oneself to maintain control over an animal whose bite may be fatal. There are also the owners who believe in providing stewardship to exotic animals, especially endangered, in the hopes of protecting the species. Those ambitious enough may even try to breed rare species or adopt them from wildlife sanctuaries, as a sort of amateur conservationism. Still, there are those owners who pamper and infantilize their pets into surrogate children, swaddling deer in diapers, or welcoming their lemurs to dine at the dinner table with them. Regardless of the ethos or psychological profile of those who privately own exotics, one pinnacle circumstance unites all cases: the keeping of exotic animals is a form of connecting with the natural world, igniting a passion for wildlife all from the comfort of one’s own home.