In most countries throughout the world, it is illegal to keep any of the exotic big cats as pets. Some countries have laws that won’t allow any member of the feline family to be kept as a pet if it is bigger then the house cat. This does not seem to deter some irresponsible people from selling these puma, lynx, lions and other big cats, and thoughtless people from buying them and keeping them in inappropriate conditions. If it is illegal to sell and keep them, how do people find the exotic big cats for sale?
Black market traders advertise animals for sale on the internet, brazenly in classifieds, on chat rooms and social sites. Breeders operate in many countries worldwide, and they ship the animals to buyers by covert means. These breeders are not animal lovers and care little about the care and safety of their cats or the consequences of their illegal trade. They are people motivated by greed and money.
What motivates the buyer to even want one of these exotic animals is to be wondered at – maybe they want something different, a conversation piece or maybe they are drawn to the illegal nature of their purchase. Any intelligent person, anywhere in the world, should be aware that trying to raise a wild creature in an apartment or suburban home would be very difficult, not to mention dangerous. Most people know that keeping these exotic big cats is illegal, unless you own a licensed zoo.
The big cats that are bred for this purpose or captured in the wild are in for a miserable fate. The new owners have little knowledge of how to care for them or just how big they will grow. These are wild animals, born to roam at will and that kill to eat, who end up being kept in small cages, often indoors, in atrocious conditions. The cute little baby cub quickly grows into a massive 400 pound beast that makes the owner as caged by their existence as much as the cat is caged by bars. Even a juvenile exotic cat can be dangerous because of its size and strength. This could lead to serious injury to the owner, even hospitalization, which leads to further neglect of the animal, through the fear of it.
The only way for the illegal trade of all exotic wild animals to be stamped out, is for more people to be made aware of the problem and the plight of the animals. If you see an advertisement for any exotic animal, contact the police or animal welfare authorities immediately. Do not contact the seller – this could be dangerous if they suspect you might be going to report them. Let the qualified authority deal with them. Vote against legislation that deals with allowing citizens to keep these wild animals as pets in your community.
Help to bring this barbaric and dangerous practise to an end. Tell your family and friends what you now know of this issue and spread the word. These beautiful exotic big cats deserve to live the life they were born to live – to roam their countryside free. Help to bring this unnecessary cruelty to an end.