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Forest Hill High School Envirothon 2002


Here is a recommended chart to fill in with plenty of research before purchasing any pet:

Category Response
Exotic Pet Choice  
Scientific Name  
Natural Habitat  
Adult Size/Weight  
Dietary Needs  
Special Health Issues  
Source of Medical Care (if needed)  
Safety Issues for Humans  
Size of Cage Area Needed  
Special Environment Needs  
Social Needs  
Cost of Purchase  
Cost of Maintaining (monthly estimate)  
Care Issues (high/low mediums)  
Additional Information  

Additional Information:

  • There is no way to determine how many exotic animals are held as pets because the states don't keep accurate records of the exotic animals coming into each state.
  • 6,000-7,000 tigers are held by private individuals
  • Usually when people decide they can no longer take care of their exotic pet, the responsibility is handed over to zoos and other institutions such as sanctuaries. Because of the high numbers of animals these places are receiving, many animals are euthanized, abandoned, or doomed to live in unsuitable conditions.
  • One of the reasons people buy exotic pets is that they are easily accessible. More then 1,000 internet sites make it possible to buy exotic pets.
  • Monkeys are the most common non-human primates owned by a private person. They are dangerous animals that often bite to defend their territory. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 52 people have reported being bitten by a monkey between 1990-1997.
  • Felines such as lions, tigers, leopards, and cougars are often brought when they are small, but get out of control, as they grow larger. They have been known to get lose and attack people.
  • Reptiles are commonly owned, with snakes being at the top of that list. About 3% of the U.S. households own 7.3 million pet reptiles. These pets are potentially dangerous, especially to small children and pets. On August 28, 1999, in Centralia, IL, a 3-year-old boy was strangled to death by the family's pet python.
  • Exotic pets are known to carry many foreign diseases. Monkeys can transmit the Herpes-B virus, Ebola virus, monkey pox, and other deadly diseases. Salmonella is also carried by about 90% of reptiles. Reptiles such as iguanas, snakes, lizards, and turtles often carry the disease. Many don't show any signs, making it difficult to detect any sickness. When a human contracts any of these diseases, a result can include severe diarrhea, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and even death.

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Last updated: 15 January, 2013 @ 12:42 PM (HSH)