Not even I can pretend to know enough about exotic pets. I have decided to do a little bit of digging in order to encapsulate specifically what is meant by the term ‘exotic pets’. I honestly believe that it’s essential for the layman to understand these definitions for future reference, although I should warn you that most of you will probably never own a single exotic pet in your lifetime. I already hear whispers to the contrary.
Let me elaborate for the benefit of other readers who are still on board with my educational initiative here. Yes, correctly put, budgies can be defined as exotic pets. Many of you owned one while you were still young. Ask yourself this question; how long did your pet budgie live. And are you able to tell other readers whether your pet budgie was truly a happy bird, sitting in its cage all day long. Some of you may be tweeting that, yes, of course my pet was happy, after all the time he spent singing to us all day.
Now, are you sure about this? Just remember that bird species in general are highly communicative creatures. They rely on communication for their survival. I’ll see if I can explore the origins of the budgie and reveal my findings on this website for you. At this stage, I am not yet sure if such a post will see the light of day, so please bear with me while I continue with our planned diary for the time being. Budgies are remarkable creatures, aren’t they?
They are extremely intelligent and, like parrots, very much exotic creatures in the context of this blog’s two-pronged theme (remember, we will also be exploring reptiles here), can learn to talk and communicate with humans in their (the human’s) own language. I am focusing on definitions here to help us with our educational journey and to help us all better understand and appreciate the (current) fragile world of exotic creatures (never mind as pets).
Let’s take a look at the definition of ‘pets’ for a moment before moving on to ‘exotic’. Most of us accept that pets refer to our beloved domesticated animals that we keep as alternatives to fellow humans for companionship and, let’s just say, cuddling, as in the sense of a young girl playing with her dolls. Time to make a note that animals (as pets), whether domesticated or not, are not dolls to be played with. Yes, they will indulge in games with you, but take care of what gives them enjoyment, rather than satisfy your own amusement.
One definition of ‘pets’ is particularly apt. it says that these animals are specifically kept for the human being’s companionship and/or protection. They provide their human ‘owners’ with emotional and physical upliftment. Unless you are talking specifically about (properly trained and cared for) canine species, I’m not entirely sure that exotic pets are able to be used as protectors of the human household. I think it is particularly cruel that a snake, for instance, should be kept specifically for such a purpose.
Snakes in general are rather shy creatures and, unless they are out hunting for food, do not care much for being man-handled to act as security guards in a domesticated environment. The term ‘pet’, if I could apply a more correct and broader definition, extends to humans too. It should. The term ‘exotic’, in the strictest sense of the word, has often been misused, even abused. People think in terms of ‘exotic dancing’, for instance, when it is essentially a sensitised version for a more crude and sordid form of human motion allegedly in celebration and/or for the purposes of entertainment.
Abused exotic creatures, whether kept at home, confined, or placed in public spaces (such as zoos) have often been placed unwillingly on a pedestal for (human) entertainment purposes. This is highly inappropriate, and I’m happy to say that animal rights groups and relevant legislative bodies are rapidly putting an end to such insane practices. One correct definition denotes the term ‘exotic’ as follows;
It is something that is introduced from abroad and is not native to our immediate surroundings. When thinking in terms of exotic pets, so far, this makes sense. Pretty much all of our exotic pets come from foreign, dare we say, exotic environments, many of which are currently under threat today. This definition goes further. It states quite clearly that the object or creature in question is strange or unusual.
All correct so far. But what exactly are exotic pets. The broad definition is that an exotic pet is a rare or unusual pet, kept within a domestic environment but primarily still a wild animal species. Another explanation says that this correct definition is subject to change in the sense that human perceptions are changing. For instance, giant lizards of the Godzilla kind have become as familiar as localised pets that the term ‘exotic’ no longer needs to apply.
I could not disagree more. Apart from the fact that most (truly) exotic lizard species are under threat or close to extinction, they cannot thrive in urban environments. Giving scandal to this lie, they are victimised in some instances when they bite humans, essentially protecting themselves in an environment which threatens them and in which they feel wholly insecure. I am horrified to learn that the American College of Zoological Medicine has defined our precious group of unique pets as ‘zoological companion animals’.
But I am relieved to learn that the term is more correctly applied in law. It says thus; it is an animal that is of foreign origin and clearly not native, in this case, to the USA. But pet is excluded in the sense that there appears to be some recognition that these creatures remain of the wild. So, if you are as fascinated as I am about exotic creatures, please tread very carefully when you begin to harbour thoughts on keeping such animals as pets.
Find out what are the World’s Top Five Exotic Pets!