When you think about lions, tigers and other big cats, you probably imagine them living in the jungle or safari. However, did you know that the largest population of tigers in the world is in the USA? The sad reality is that no one really knows that many tigers are kept as pets in the United States.
This growing problem is in large part why PrideRock exists. It’s our mission to aid in the prevention of animal cruelty by providing a home for unwanted and abused wild animals. Which is why we are providing reasons “Why Wild Animals Are Not Pets!”
1. It’s Expensive To Feed A Big Cat
Owning a tiger or any other wild animal isn’t like having a puppy. Some tigers can weigh up to 800lbs, which means that’s a lot of food they need to consume. You can’t just go buy a bag of kibble and expect that to last for two weeks with a big cat. Furthermore, if you feed them the wrong types of food, it can cause health issues and when an animal receives a lack of nutrients, it will cause more problems down the road.
At PrideRock, we feed our animals 10lbs pounds of food per day, 6 days a week. And it’s not cheap either. To be able to feed our animals each week it costs us around $120/per animal, this is in addition to the meat we receive from our awesome donors!
2. Vet Appointments Are Crucial
Sure, with your cat or dog you may take them in as needed, and that can be the same with our wild animals. However, a lot of wildlife owners don’t do the due diligence that is needed to take care of these large animals. Most wildlife refuges will tell you that it’s important to spay or neuter because it increases the longevity of an animal that’s no longer in the wild.
Procedures such as those can be as much as $1,100, and that doesn’t even take into account circumstances such as an infected claw, dental cleaning etc. that can range up to $2,000 per visit. It’s a huge responsibility to take care of a wild animal and a lot of people don’t have the means to do so!
3. Wild Animals Need a Habitat, Not Your Living Room
Studies have shown that large cats can develop serious muscular atrophy from spending a life in a small enclosure with no room to roam. For example, a person’s living room or small cage in the back yard.
This is another reason why these animals should not be kept as pets. Wild animals need more than just a pad of grass. Each of our animals are in large enclosures with room to roam, tables and platforms to jump and lounge on and our tigers have large tubs of water to soak in. We also have areas of enrichment for them to play and indoor shelters for protection against weather conditions.
It takes a lot to make sure that our animals don’t feel like they’re in captivity, and we prioritize making their habitat an oasis.
These are just a few of many reasons why wild animals should not be kept as pets, but even more so why we find it is our duty to rescue these animals to give them the best life possible. Many people might mean well, but overall, it’s not safe, financially doable or in the best interest of the animal.