Many people are drawn to the allure of having an exotic pet. While exotics can be any pet other that cats, dogs, fish, and livestock, many people immediately think of exotic pets as being dangerous animals, tigers, and wolves.
My wife, B. Nelson, and I have written many articles on Pets. Some of these articles have dealt with the area of exotic pets. As such, we both, have received messages from people who would like to get some of the more extreme animals as pets, such as tigers, non-human primates, wolves, and elephants. These animals are typically ones that do not make good pets. However, if a person looks beyond the concept of an animal being a pet, being something that lives with you in your home, it is still possible to provide care for these animals.
Taking a boarder view of pet ownership and friendship can allow a person to have such a pet, in a way that actually benefits the animal. Some people think nothing of having a horse that they leave in the care of another at a boarding stable. Others sponsor a child in a distant land and view that child as their own. Why not have what I will call, in this article, a “distant pet”, by combining those two views and applying them to the adoption of an animal in a distant location. They may not have the ability to curl up on the sofa with you, however you can still show them love in the form of your support. Distant pets are a great alternative for a person who loves animals and wants to care for one, but does not have time, for an actual pet, because of their career or travels. As such adopting a “distant pet” is your best option.
Below are three organizations that allow families, or individuals, to adopt many different species with annual, monthly, or one time donations, to help with the care of the animal, or conservation of their habitat.
PAWS( Performing Animal Welfare Society)
At Paws website you can adopt a Tiger starting at an annual donation of $150 US. Some of the tigers and other animals at PAWS are retired, or rescued, animals from the entertainment industry. Some of tigers at Paws are ones that have been rescued from people who also wanted a pet tiger and did not realize what they were getting into. Wouldn’t you rather satisfy your desire for a “pet” tiger by adopting one at Paws instead of getting one to to live in your home whom you would probably need to send to a rescue like Paws in the future anyway? The Paws staff is over thirty individuals who have experience caring for these large felines. Paws also has Elephants, Primates, Lions, and other species, that a person can adopt. When you adopt an animal at PAWS you get a biography of the animal and its photograph, along with two guest passes for open houses at one of their facilities, this means you may be able to actually go and visit the animal that you have adopted.
As an added note to the young men out there who think that having a fluffy pet tiger cub will impress the girls, you will impress more of them by having a photograph of one you adopted.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
If you have ever dreamed of having a pet Elephant or Rhinoceros, fostering one of them through The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, may be just the ticket for you. It only takes $50.00 US, to begin fostering an orphan Elephant or Rhinoceros. You will get a profile and photo of the animal, your distant pet, maps showing where they were found. You will be sent links to the diary of your pet’s keepers, along with some other interesting items. This charity was formed in memory of Naturalist David Sheldrick, and is overseen by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick. One of the main objectives of the trust is to save orphaned Elephants and Rhinos that are released back into the wild when they are old enough. They are also concerned with the welfare of these animals in captivity.
The World Wildlife Federation
WWF has over one hundred species that can be adopted by a monthly, or annual, donation. These species include everything from the small Emerald Hummingbird, to the not so small Humpback Whale. Hummingbirds as a whole at not a suitable to the casual aviaculturist, and very few people would have the room for a pet Humpback Whale, even if they have the world’s largest bathtub. If you are originally from Michigan, as I am, you may have wanted to get a pet Wolverine to show support for U of M, as it is the school’s mascot. A Wolverine would not make a good pet, as they tend to get a bit cranky when confined. Not to worry you can still say you have a pet Wolverine by adopting one. You can do this with as little as $25.00, which is a lot less than it would cost to build a proper Wolverine enclosure in your backyard.
Let us say you are a person who collects all things to do with Hippos? Why not adopt a real one? Hippo adoption kits, also start at $25.00 and go up to $100.00. You can say that you have a pet Hippo and will have a photograph of your adopted pet to prove it. For those persons who want something to curl up with on the sofa, some of the larger WWF adoption donation packages include a plush toy version of the adopted animal.
As you can see, by this photograph, a wolverine is not a practical pet.
Adoptions At Local Zoos and Other Animal Adoption Services
There are many other good places that offer adoption of animals in this way. You can find them through Internet Searches. The above were only three examples and this article is not intended to recommend them over others. If you have a personal favorite you wish to share please mention it in the comments section. Additionally, many zoos have adoption programs, you can find out more by contacting your local zoo. Research which organization is the best fit for you and go with your heart when choosing one of the animals to adopt as your “distant pet”. By extending your view of what the word “pet” means to include adopted “distant pets”, it is possible have as many strange and unusual pets as you can afford, even if you do not personally have the time, knowledge, or means, to actually care for them at your home. Just imagine that the world is your sofa and curl up with an adopted “distant pet”.
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