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Info Sheets : Exotics

alligatorCreepy Crawlies: Things to Know About Exotic Pets

Lately lots of people have been buying "exotic" pets like spiders, scorpions, snakes, and lizards. While these animals can be fascinating and beautiful, many don't make very good pets.

The story of Linda and the Turtles - for children and young adults considering reptiles for pets

Health: Although tarantulas, reptiles, scorpions, and other such creatures appear tough, most are actually fragile. They are adapted to living in their own natural environment and when they are removed and kept in captivity they become sick easily. They may become frustrated or depressed when they are
kept in a small tank. Their food in a captive environment may not provide the same nutrients they would get from their natural diet. Furthermore, very few vets know how to treat or care for these animals, so when they become ill they tend to get worse and eventually die.

The Environment: Many of these exotic pets are captured out of their natural
environments to be sold as pets. But in nature they serve a vital role in their ecosystem. When they are captured and removed in large numbers their ecosystem suffers and the natural balance is thrown off. The results can be
tragic as other species then overpopulate, food sources become exhausted,
and disease spreads.

Special Care for Special Animals: Most people are simply unaware of how much care and what kind of care exotic animals require. They may need special types of lamps, certain vitamin supplements, various fresh or hard-to-find foods, special kinds of rocks, sand, or dust. If any need is overlooked the animal will become sick, suffer, and possibly die. Many of the stores that sell these animals do not sell all of the supplies they need. People who work in the store don't know everything about these animals, and might unintentionally misinform the customer. Most books available about exotic animals cover only basic care and do not contain all the information a pet owner would need to know.

-- Content provided by Neva Davis

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