top of page

11 Reasons Not to Keep Exotic and Local Wild Animals As Pets

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

11 Reasons Not to Keep Exotic and Local Wild Animals As Pets
11 Reasons Not to Keep Exotic and Local Wild Animals As Pets

Prohibited Animals In Brampton Ontario

  • Felids Except Domestic Cat (Lions and Tigers)

  • Canids Except Domestic Dog (Canids such as Wolves and Hybrids)

  • Bears (Ursids)

  • Seals, Fur Seals, and Walruses (Pinnipeds)

  • Elephants

  • Humans (Primates such as gorillas and monkeys)

  • Opossums and Kangaroos (Marsupials)

  • Alligators and Crocodiles (Crocodilians)

  • Venomous Reptiles

  • Snakes of the families Pythonidae and Boidae

  • Scorpions and Tarantulas (Arachnids)

  • Geese, Swans, and Ducks (Waterfowl)

  • Turkeys, Grouse, and Pheasants (Ground-feeding Birds)

  • Cassowaries, Ostriches, and Rheas (Ratitie Birds)

  • Hyenas

  • Genets, Civets, and Mongooses (Viverrids)

  • Weasels and Skunks (Mustelids except the Domestic Ferret)

  • Flying Squirrels, Giant Squirrels, and Prairie Dogs (Sciuridae)

  • Armadillos, Anteaters, and Sloths (Edentates)

  • Zebras and Horses (Odd-toed Ungulates)

  • Pigs, Sheep, Cattle, and Goats (Cloven-hoofed Mammals)

  • Bats

If You Find An Abandoned Baby Raccoon, Squirrel, Bird Or Opossum, What Should You Do?

Many people have a soft spot for cute, cuddly animals and may consider keeping local wildlife and exotic animals as pets. However, keeping wildlife as pets is not a good idea for several reasons. Not only is it illegal in most places, but it can also be dangerous for both the animal and the owner. In this article, Brampton Wildlife Control will discuss 11 reasons why you should not keep local wild animals as pets, and what you should do if you find an abandoned baby raccoon, squirrel, bird or opossum.

Important Things To Consider Before Housing Wild Animals As Pets:

  1. It is Illegal: In many places, it is illegal to keep local wild animals as pets. This is because wild animals are not domesticated and can pose a risk to public safety.

  2. It is Dangerous: Wild animals don’t make good pets since they can be unpredictable and aggressive, especially when they are frightened or stressed. Keeping them as pets can put both the owner and the animal in danger.

  3. They Require Specialized Care: Wild animals have unique dietary and environmental needs that are difficult to meet in a home setting. Even with the best intentions, most people are not equipped to provide the proper care for these animals.

  4. They Can Carry Diseases: Wild creatures can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. This includes rabies, which can be deadly.

  5. They Can Become Aggressive: Even animals that seem friendly and docile can become aggressive as they mature. This can lead to serious injury or even death.

  6. They Can Damage Property: Wild animals are not domesticated and may not understand the difference between their natural habitat and human home. This can result in property damage or destruction.

  7. They Can Escape: Wild animals do not want to be kept in captivity and are skilled escape artists and can easily get loose from their enclosures. This can put both the animal and the public at risk.

  8. They Are Not Toys: Wild animals are not toys to be played with or treated as novelty items. They are living beings that require respect and care for the best life possible.

  9. They Are Not Meant to be Kept in Captivity: Wild animals are meant to live in their natural habitats, not in human homes.

  10. It Encourages Illegal Trade: Keeping wild animals as pets encourages the illegal trade of these animals, which can have devastating effects on their populations in the wild.

  11. It Can Lead to Euthanasia: In many cases, wild animals that are kept as pets and then abandoned must be euthanized because they cannot be rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

Exotic & Wild Animals Brampton Wildlife Control Recommends To Avoid Keeping As Pets

Exotic Animals

Having a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but there are some exotic wild animals that should definitely stay in the wilderness and with good reason. Among them: big cats such as lions or tigers; primates like monkeys and chimpanzees; venomous snakes including cobras, vipers, and rattlesnakes; large constricting snakes like boa constrictors; and dangerous reptiles such as alligators or crocodiles. These creatures require specialized care to thrive – often more than most people can provide - while also posing serious risks even if they have been raised from a young age. It's better for everyone involved not to keep exotic pets to enjoy these amazing animals from afar!

Native Animals

Though raccoons may make for adorable companions, they are truly wild animals and carry diseases that can be hazardous to humans. Similarly, skunks require special permits in many places due to the potential danger of their unpredictable behaviour; squirrels too can transmit deadly parasites along with being high-maintenance when it comes to habitats and diets. marsupials like sugar gliders and opossums Local turtles you might encounter like snapping turtles red eared sliders also require caution when in close contact. One of the most common bacterial infections that turtles can transmit to humans is Salmonella. These shelled creatures are natural carriers of Salmonella in their intestines and can easily spread it through their feces, contaminating their surroundings and potentially infecting people who come into contact with them or their habitat. Keeping native wildlife species for pets comes with significant risk and is not a good idea in most cases


Owning certain exotic fish species can be a risky endeavour that requires careful consideration. Some of these species can grow to be quite large, display aggression, or demand specialized care that may prove challenging for novice aquarium enthusiasts. Take the arapaima, arowana, and pacu, for instance; these freshwater behemoths can easily surpass several feet in length, necessitating massive tanks or outdoor ponds. Meanwhile, piranhas and select cichlid species can exhibit territorial tendencies, requiring conscientious management to prevent conflicts with other aquatic creatures. It's also worth noting that certain exotic fish are safeguarded by laws and regulations, with ownership or trade considered illegal. Given these potential complications, it's imperative for anyone considering an exotic fish pet to research and weigh the suitability and legality of their desired species.


Exotic birds can certainly be a rewarding addition to any home, but it is important to look out for the species that may not align with your lifestyle. For example, Hyacinth Macaws are incredibly large and require tons of space - they can also get quite loud! African Grey Parrots need just as much attention; this sociable bird will only stay healthy if given ample mental stimulation each day. Before considering an exotic pet avian companion, make sure you thoroughly research their needs so everyone stays happy and content in the long run.

What Should You Do if You Find an Abandoned Baby Raccoon, Squirrel, Bird or Opossum?

If you come across a helpless baby wild animal, your heart may lead you to give it the love and care it needs. But rescuing this creature should not be taken lightly - here are some important steps for how best to safely handle such an encounter.

  • Leave the animal alone: Even though it might feel like the right thing to do, rescuing wild animal babies can sometimes cause more harm than good. Instead of taking them away from their home, keep an eye out for Mama - with a bit of patience she'll be back before you know it!

  • Call a wildlife rehabilitation centre: No matter the circumstance, if a wild animal needs help returning to their natural habitat - reach out! Wildlife rehabilitation centres are equipped with knowledgeable staff and resources that ensure animals get back on track. Don't hesitate to call Brampton Wildlife Control today!

  • Do not attempt to care for the animal yourself: Caring for an animal that looks healthy can still be a challenge; specialist care may be required and attempting to do it yourself could cause unintentional harm.

  • Follow the instructions of the wildlife rehabilitation centre: The rehabilitation centre will give you instructions on how to safely transport the animal to its facility. It's important to follow these instructions to ensure the animal's safety and well-being.

  • It's essential to stay safe when encountering local animals in urban environments. Keep your surroundings clean, put on protective clothing, and practice good hygiene etiquette if you must interact with wildlife - particularly if it appears ill or deceased. Additionally ensuring food waste is disposed of correctly can go a long way towards preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases!

Acquiring exotic wild animals can inadvertently endorse the illicit pet trade market, perpetuating the scourge of animal exploitation.

The illegal capturing of native and exotic animals such as monkeys, parrots, big cats and other wild animals from their natural habitats, and trading them as pets, is a common occurrence. This trade is sustained by the demand for these animals, which consequently increases the trade's reach and magnitude.

The illegal pet trade is a reprehensible industry that perpetrates animal abuse and cruelty through inhumane trapping and transportation techniques and substandard captivity conditions causes great stress on the animal. Furthermore, this largely unregulated marketplace endangers the stability of wildlife populations and biodiversity, as the removal of animals from their natural habitats can cause ecological damage.

Thus, it is paramount that individuals desist from buying exotic wild animals as pets and instead support credible conservation organizations and sanctuaries that are dedicated to safeguarding wildlife and their habitats.


  1. Is it ever okay to keep wild animals as pets? No, in our opinion it is never okay to keep native or exotic wild animals as pets. Wild animals are not domesticated and require specialized care and living conditions that is impossible to replicated in a home setting.

  2. What should I do if I find an injured animal? If you find injured wildlife, call a local animal services centre immediately. Do not attempt to care for the animal yourself as it requires specialized care and handling.

  3. Can people easily get sick from their wildlife pet? Yes, wild animals may introduce humans to a whole new world of illnesses, with diseases that can be transmitted from animal to human. Taking proper precautions when interacting with wildlife is important in order to avoid the potential health risks associated.

Informed Decisions Are Best When Taking Pets Home, Wild Or Domestic

Keeping wild animals as pets may seem like a good idea, but please think twice. Not only is it illegal in most places, but it can also be dangerous for both the animal and the owner. Wild animals require specialized care and living conditions that cannot be replicated in a home setting. If you find an abandoned baby wild animal, it's best to leave it alone and seek expert advice from Brampton Wildlife Control or a local wildlife rehabilitation centre for assistance. Remember, wild animals are not toys or novelty items, but living beings that require respect and care.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page