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Exotic animals kept as pets are a risk to everyone

Some people just aren't content with a dog or cat -- and even a pet rabbit or bird won't do. Instead, they're drawn to the wild side.

Exotic pets like monkeys, alligators, bears, wolves, large or venomous snakes and even certain lizards have their fans -- but there are animals that simply cannot be domesticated. No matter how early an animal is taken out of the wild, certain animals simply cannot be considered safe.

Unfortunately, you often can't get their owners to hear the message. Experts say that bites and mauling are always a risk from certain animals -- no matter how beloved they are by their owners -- but many also present a serious risk of disease. Monkeys, for example, can pass hepatitis to humans very easily. A scratch from the scale or nail of a reptile can infect an owner or visitor with salmonella -- which can be fatal to young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Many owners of exotic pets are also keeping them illegally -- especially as laws have tightened in recent years on what types of animals are allowed to be sold and kept as pets. Because of that, many of the animals may actually be missing out on important veterinary care or kept in conditions that can lead to poor socialization. Both of those issues can factor into how likely an animal is to attack.

In addition, many of the people who fall in love with the idea of having a true exotic are actually unprepared for the reality of having to feed, house and clean up after their pet. There's a significant difference between caring for a baby alligator that fits in a turtle tank and a full grown adult that can take off its owner's arm. A cuddly wolf pup or wolf-dog hybrid is nowhere near as difficult to manage as a fully-grown wolf with all of the instincts of a predator.

Exotic animals simply aren't meant to be kept as pets -- the reality of caring for them and keeping other people safe from them is often more than the owners can handle. If you fall victim to someone's exotic pet, an attorney can discuss the possibility of a lawsuit to recover for your injuries. For more information on our firm's approach, please visit our page.

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