Taking care of pets gives satisfaction and emotional fulfilment to the owners, but some people take it to another level. While domesticated animals are the ideal option to keep one company, a few pet owners like to keep wild animals as pets. Regardless of the reasons for having wild animals as pets, their owners need to take certain precautions, otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster.
If you’re persistent and passionate enough to keep wild animals as pets, you’ll have to take extraordinary measures to keep them, yourself, and your family healthy and safe. Here are some tips and considerations that you can swear by:
Check For Injuries And Illnesses
Before approaching an animal in the wild, the first thing to do is assess the situation practically for your own safety and for the animal’s well-being as well. Prior to capturing them, maintain a distance from the animal and, as much as possible, don’t expose yourself to possible attacks. Observe the animal and look for any visible signs of injury and illnesses. Note the information in detail and explain it clearly to a professional who can provide input.
If the animal is fleeing or trying to defend itself, don’t come near it and check back in a few hours. However, if the animal is clearly feeling threatened enough to fend for themselves, contact wildlife specialists for intervention.
Give Them Space
Unlike domesticated animals, wild animals aren’t suitable for direct physical contact with humans and other animals, so always stay back. When approaching them, do it slowly and avoid approaching their blind spots so that they will not be surprised. Always let them feel your presence so that they won’t regard you as a threat.
While they’re resting, you obviously can’t cuddle them like you would with dogs and cats, so let them stay in a dry, dark, and warm resting space. In addition, ensure that the place is quiet and no humans and animals will disturb them.
Understand The Species And Their Behavior
The key to getting close to a wild animal is to first understand their nature and behavior. Carry out thorough research about their species and characteristics. In this way, you’ll know when they’re agitated or ready to befriend others. While most wild animals look harmful, do take note that most of the time, they’re doing this for their own survival and don’t intend to harm you on purpose.
For instance, skunks are generally good animals that tend to lurk around residences. However, when removing these animals from your home, professional skunk control intervention is necessary. These specialists have studied how skunks behave, so they’ll be able to extract them properly, without causing any harm.
Keep Your Place Clean And Sanitized
Wild animals can bring in a lot of health hazards once they enter your premises. Take allergic reactions as a great example. Allergens brought by wild animals, like animal dander, can cause irritation, hives, coughing, and sneezing. Worse, you can be severely allergic to them and develop extreme breathing problems.
Moreover, wild animals can also transmit zoonotic diseases, which are directly transferred from animals to humans. These involve salmonella, ringworm, rabies, tuberculosis, and hepatitis, among others. Thus, be wary of indications that a wild animal is infected with zoonotic diseases.
In order to avoid these threats to health from worsening, always keep your place clean and sanitized, especially those corners and spaces where they tend to stay. For instance, when skunk removal has been conducted, you can get rid of skunk odor yourself or hire professional cleaning services.
Provide Warmth And Comfort
During colder months, pet owners always make sure that their pets are safe and warm. It should be the same with wild animals, as they’re not completely protected from their surroundings, especially in extreme temperatures. Since wild animals aren’t ideal for indoor spaces, assign a certain outdoor space that will keep them warm and comfortable in winter. Add a heat source around that space, ensuring that it’s not too hot and does not directly touch the animal.
Their source of freshwater would tend to become frozen in winter, and their source of food either perishes or gets covered by thick blankets of snow. Thus, you’ll have to provide them with food and clean water.
Take Note Of Their Original Habitat Location
Lastly and most importantly, wild animals are for the wild, and they’re not meant to be pets. Ideally, it’s best to keep them only while they’re recovering from illnesses and injuries. Once they have fully recovered and are ready to get back into their habitat again, let them do so. After all, keeping wild animals is considered illegal and inhumane.
When releasing them back into nature, always remember the original location where you found them. In this way, they’ll easily become familiar with their habitat again. If they were found staying in a nest, bring the nest with you while they’re in your care. Then, take the nest back when you release them, so their species will be preserved.
Seeing wild, exotic animals can be exciting and fulfilling for some people who wish to keep them as pets. However, this is against the laws of nature and keeping them as pets might do more harm than good to them. If you are keeping wild animals, especially injured and young ones, you might want to consider the tips discussed above to prioritize their health and safety.