By Jennifer O’Connor
A toddler is strangled to death by her family’s pet python. A woman lies in a coma, her face and hands ripped off, after being attacked by her friend’s pet chimpanzee. A 9-year-old girl is dead after an attack by her stepfather’s pet tiger. Thousands of people all over the country—most recently in Florida, where the horrific python attack took place—have been bitten, mauled and killed by exotic pets. How have we reached the point where lions and tigers live in basements, monkeys are diapered and alligators are walked on leashes?
Every year, countless people succumb to the temptation to purchase “exotic” animals such as monkeys, macaws, lizards—even tigers, lions and bears—to keep as “pets.” Unbelievably, there is no federal law prohibiting the private ownership of wild or dangerous animals. But captivity is often a death sentence for exotics and, in too many cases, for the people who “had” to have them. Continue reading Exotic “pets”: suffering for sale