The 5 Most Dangerous Legal Pets Ever
Veterinarian Reviewed on February 26, 2010 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
But just because you love us doesn’t mean we’re safe to be around! Let’s face it, our animal natures can make our behaviour unpredictable, and sometimes downright dangerous.
Throughout history, humans have kept animals for reasons beyond companionship. Men have kept rare, exotic creatures to demonstrate how worldly and rich they were; great beasts have roamed about castles, showing just how strong and virile their owners were.
Thinking about keeping an exotic, dangerous animal into your home? Chances are you can find, purchase and have it, er, snuggling up to you (probably with a cage between you) in no time. But you may end up housing an animal that can end up harming you or your child, or worse: cause grave injury and even death.
The 5 Most Dangerous Legal Pets, And Why!
Here is a list of pets that you shouldn’t even think about owning:
Snakes – Some are deadly poisonous, and some are bone-crushingly strong. If you like living on the edge, then sleeping next to a python may thrill you to no end. You’ve heard the horror stories of the missing snake waking up its owner with a “hug”? Don’t let that be you!
Worse, you may end up being poisoned by the jaws of your precious snake. For those of you who would think nothing about leaving your cage open, dropping prey into cages without protective tools (rather, your bare hands) and grabbing your snake whenever you feel like it, then power to you. You’re the kind of crazy who probably french-kisses your dog while you drive, too.
Scorpions – For the yap of me I can’t tell why anyone would want to “take care” of a scorpion! But some people keep them in cages at home. They are sold through stores and dealers who cater to humans who want to be “different” and “unique”. I thought all humans were different and unique?! Well, I never.
These scary things are super strong: they can lift lids, squeeze through tiny openings and climb over obstacles. Not only are their stings painful and poisonous, they can be deadly. Save your love of this stinger for the rock band!
Monkeys – Some humans believe that they are descended from apes. So it makes sense that some of you humans think that living with a monkey would be the same as living with another human! So many people have trouble living with others, I have no idea what makes them think they could live with a monkey.
Monkey tricks aside, apes can also be extremely dangerous! First of all, they can share diseases with you humans, since the viruses are transferrable. And once they reach maturity, they can be very aggresive – and even small monkeys are really strong. Monkeys develop strong attachments to their caregivers, and can be territorial – attacking friends and other family members in a jealous rage is common. Add to that their strong canine (ahem) teeth, and you’ve got a dangerous, wild animal on your hands (if you didn’t already know that).
Lions and Tigers and… – Seriously folks, this one is a no brainer. I’m already a little biased against kitties gaining entry into the home, but a 450+ lb. cat? With knive-like teeth and razor sharp claws? Take a tip from the famous Siegfried & Roy incident, when Roy Horn (one half of the training duo) was attacked by his tiger during a live show. The 600 lb., 7 year-old tiger had been raised from 6 months old to perform with the duo, and no one suspected he would ever attack anyone. Roy suffered a stroke directly after the attack, and needed 2 surgeries to recuperate.
Still, according to the Humane Society of the United States, “the number of captive tigers living in the United States is roughly the equivalent of all the tigers living in the wild. Between 5,000 and 7,000 captive tigers are estimated to live in the U.S., where less than 10% of them are kept in professionally run zoos and sanctuaries. ” Translation: they’re house pets. Yikes.
Dogs – Now, I love my brothers and sisters. But not all canines are created alike, and some of my sibligs just aren’t family pet material! Many dawg breeds are trained as attack and guard animals for a reason. They strike mean and hard. Little children, other animals and even big humans can risk their lives if one of these pups go crazy!
Below is a list of dogs that have been described as having “man-stopping” capabilites, meaning an attack by any of these can be fatal:
Pet legislation varies from state to state. In some places, exotic animals must have permits, and in other places tough bylaws make sure that vicious dog owners pay steep insurance rates. Still, dangerous pets are available to the humans who want to keep them! If you are considering an exotic pet, here’s a link to tell you how to find out if you can actually house one. In my opinion, this doesn’t make it a good idea!
Dangerous animals are dangerous, no matter what. Stick with us domesticated dawgs and cats, and stay safe!
Photo Credit: spiderdog
Photo Credit: claudiogennardi
Photo Credit: 2295820345
Photo Credit: dvids
Sign up for our newsletter and receive more articles and the latest pet health updates and special offers.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan