There are more tigers held in private homes as pets in Texas than exist in the wild in India. Tigers. In private homes. All over Texas.
There are more exotic pets held in private homes in the US than in the zoos.
This speaks volumes to me about critical thinking and the role of impulse buying in the American population. The regulation or restriction of exotic pets in the US is fragmented and sketchy at best. In many states there are no real restrictions or regulations whatsoever, the average fishing or hunting licence may be more timely or costly to obtain that then ability to purchase an exotic animal. Beyond the first considerations, the safety issues within the home, the proper and humane care of the animals, and the cost of that care and maintenance, a broader concerns regarding this practice.
Exotic animals that escape pose a risk to public health. Your tiger might not bite you, but it will bite the first neighbor kid that tries to poke it with a stick. And reptiles and other smaller animals that escape often find a new suitable habitat in the US, breeding in the wild and pushing out native species, impacting both competitors and prey populations.
I do not think that this information will have any impact on anyone that wants an exotic pet. I think that people that keep these kinds of animals are living out a kind of tangible fantasy, fulfilling a kind of escapism that is far beyond reason or rational. But do know this, there are entire organizations dedicated to the removal of exotic pets from owners in over their heads.
What a terrible waste of time. What a terrible waste of an animal.
The Elephant In The Room, a documentary about the exotic pet problem in the US.