The Problem with Exotic Pets in America

Topics: Everglades, Florida, Wildlife Pages: 4 (1462 words) Published: August 25, 2013

The Problem with Exotic Pets in America
Gilles C. Haun
Sullivan University

Many Americans love to have exotic pets, not thinking of the consequences of ownership. Right now there is a widespread problem in America: In places such as Florida, numerous types of exotic pets are becoming an invasive species as a result of being released back into the wild.

The Problem with Exotic Pets in America.
Exotic pets have always been a concern to a variety of people: health care officials who treat bites from these animals, insurance companies who have to cover businesses that employ performers who have live exotic animals in their acts (such as ‘Siegfried and Roy’), and customs agents who inspect cargo ships for illegal animals just to name a few. The problem however, has taken a turn for the worse recently as a result of several things which have occurred not just in the past year, but also in the past decade. Exotic animals are becoming a problem in the US and a hazard to people, pets, and livestock. Some background information will now be provided.

Almost everyone above the age of 20 remembers what happened to Roy Horn of ‘Siegfried and Roy’ when Montecere, the tiger Roy was working with, bit him on the neck and dragged him away. This brought into focus the warning about “you can take the animal out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the animal.” As reported by Miguel Marquez (2003) to CNN, Roy horn was critically injured as a result of the attack and audience members initially thought it was part of the act until they heard Roy’s scream behind the curtain. Some say this act alone brought an end to performers using live animals, not just exotic animals, in their acts.

According to the National Invasive Species Center’s website (n.d.)., one form of exotic pet that became an invasive species is the Northern Snakehead. This species of fish, originally from mainland China, was brought to the US as an import and was sold mostly in...

References: Cornett, B. (2009, November 1). Burmese Pythons in Florida - Current Status of the "Florida Python". Retrieved on November 9, 2011, from
Douglas, B. (2011, October 29). Huge Python Caught in Florida after Eating Deer. Retrieved on November 9, 2011, from
Ecological Topics. (n.d.). Invasive Species. Retrieved from National Biological Information Infrastructure on November 9, 2011, from
Marquez, M. (2003, October 4). Roy of ‘Siegfried and Roy’ critical after mauling. Retrieved on November 9, 2011, from
Segal, K. & Zarrella, J. (2009, March 30). 'Python Patrol ' targets giant snakes of South Florida. Retrieved on November 9, 2011, from

United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library. (n.d.). Animals/Species Profiles/Northern Snakehead. Retrieved from National Invasive Species Information Center on November 9, 2011, from
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