The exact definition of an “exotic pet” varies depending on the context. In many circumstances, an exotic pet is loosely defined as one that is not a dog, cat, fish or horse (i.e. the “traditional pets”), acting as a convenient catch-all term for “non-traditional” pets such as sugar gliders, tarantulas and slow lorises. Exotic pets are non-domesticated animals with their wild instincts kept intact, and are also typically native to the countries to which they were imported.
Exotic pets are usually bought when they are young and small, of which, unsurprisingly, would quickly grow to become large and unmanageable. Exotic pet sellers often claim the exotic animals are suitable for people who: a) wants a pet that is simple to care for and look after, b) have busy lives, c) do not have adequate home space for roaming purposes, or d) do not wish to have a companion animal that requires daily walks. Unfortunately every exotic species is adapted mainly to its own unique environment that can meet its needs, and has a specialised place in that local ecosystem that a human home cannot offer.
Driven by human greed and self-interest, the sale of exotic pets through the internet has been growing rapidly over the years, making it virtually impossible to track and regulate. Both animal welfare supporters and wildlife conservationists have said that not only is it dangerous to bring captive-bred wild animals into the human world, but the action is also cruel too. Nonetheless, being far from black and white, there might never be a solution to the issue of capturing exotic and non-native animals for humans’ own purposes.