By Rhino Girl
This is Little Mo. She was just a few months old when poachers killed her mother and stole her from the wild. These ruthless wildlife traffickers wanted to sell the cheetah cub as a ‘pet’ in Somaliland, East Africa.
Mo is one of millions of countless big cats, and other endangered animals who are part of the exotic pet trade.
US Exotic Pets
The illegal trade is a $15 billion dollar business in the United States alone, with breeders and dealers selling animals over the Internet or in trade magazines. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 exotics live in “backyards” all across the US.
While some exotic pets have been bred in captivity, many are plucked directly from their natural habitats. The stress of being violently removed from their homes causes some animals to die before they ever reach a private residence.
Amazingly, the Endangered Species Act does not prohibit domestic trade in captive-bred wildlife. A grave oversight, considering that although tigers are endangered, more tigers reside in private residences in Texas, than in all the wild.
People purchasing these animals believe them to be cute and manageable until of course they grow, their wild instincts still intact, and become uncontrollable. In 2013, there have been 1,969 incidents (anything from quarantine violations to deaths of animals and/or people) in the US alone. More....