New Online Database Highlights Dangers of Keeping Exotic Animals in Captivity

New Online Database Highlights Dangers of Keeping Exotic Animals in Captivity

World Animal Protection Canada has launched an innovative online database to raise awareness about the risks associated with keeping exotic animals in captivity.

According to wildlife campaign manager Michèle Hamers, many people misinterpret incidents involving captive wildlife as isolated or amusing occurrences, overlooking the serious dangers they pose.

Through her fieldwork, Hamers has observed numerous instances of escapes and other wildlife-related incidents.

These are often portrayed in the media as “cutesy” or funny stories, which fail to convey the reality of the situation and the significant implications for animal welfare.

Moreover, these events are frequently reported as unique, standalone cases, which is far from the truth.

Hamers, recognizing the value of documenting these incidents, initially recorded them on an Excel spreadsheet. She believed this information would be an invaluable resource for researchers, supporters, and anyone concerned with the issues surrounding the captivity of wild animals.

She notes that enforcing regulations around keeping wildlife in captivity is a significant challenge, often due to underfunding. Furthermore, such incidents tend to occur behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny.

One of Hamers’ major concerns is the legality of keeping various wild animals, including reptiles, amphibians, and birds, as pets. These species are often unsuitable for captive environments, yet the law permits their ownership.

Hamers hopes that the newly created map in the online database will offer a clearer picture of the situation across Canada. By doing so, she aims to encourage the public to take action and advocate for better enforcement of regulations and policies to protect wildlife.

This article by Trinity Sparke was first published by One Green Planet on 27 June 2024. Image Credit :ice_blue/Shutterstock.

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