Thinking of Owning Exotics? Here’s What You Should Know

Owning exotic animals doesn’t come without problems, but, if you do your research, you’ll be able to decide if it’s best for you.

Exotics can cause problems if they are added to an area that is already at carrying capacity, and more aggressive animals can displace native wildlife. They can also disturb the ecological balance. Personal ownership of exotic species can have global consequences and anyone considering ownership must take responsibility in preserving our native lands for future generations.

Thinking of Owning Exotics? Here’s What You Should Know

Here are 7 tips if you are considering owning exotic animals:

  1. Concentrate on one or two species and become as knowledgeable as you can about those. The more the merrier is not the right thinking for new exotic owners.
  2. Consider climate and habitat. Can the species thrive on your property? Is there enough space?
  3. Think about animal temperament and compatibility with your other animals. Make sure you study the behavior of different species carefully. A few characteristics to consider:Gregarious vs Solitary
    Brush vs Open
    Diurnal vs Nocturnal
    Young Follow vs. Lie Out
    Territoriality vs. Rut
  4. Consider hybridization and interbreeding.
  5. Get a consultation on your land’s carrying capacity. You have to know how many animals your land can support before adding new ones.
  6. Estimate ratios, sex and age of potential exotics. Exotics are expensive so you’ll need to decide what age and sex you need the “founders” to be.
  7. Know and research all regulations with the US Department of Agriculture, US Fish and Wildlife and Service and all state regulations.

If you need help in your research or just want to chat with exotic owners about their perspectives, reach out to the EWA. We have a ton of members who’d love to answer questions and help guide your decision. People who have “been there and done that” will be your greatest asset.

What tips do you have for someone considering owning exotic wildlife?