Thursday, Jan 17, 2019 | Last Update : 02:09 AM IST
There are do’s and don’ts that one must follow while keeping an exotic pet.
Why do people keep exotic animals and birds as their pets? For gaining some kind of personal benefit, is one of the main reasons. It is quite a challenge, and demands a lot of time and effort to keep a ‘non-native’ friend with you. Besides, there are do’s and don’ts that one must follow, says veterinarian and keeper of Sara’s Exotic Birds Centre, Dr Rani Maria Thomas. “If you are planning to keep exotic animals as pets, it is best to do your homework first. All types of animals are available in pet shops nowadays, not just dogs and cats. Keeping an exotic pet has become a trend, which may result in unexpected consequences if you are not ready to welcome your new friend home,” says Rani.
“Exotic birds such as parrots, conures, macaws and cockatoos are beautiful. But they require special care and attention as well. In most cases, they live for decades, so they are not a short-term commitment for responsible owners. And it’s important to be aware of their bevaviour in certain environments. For example, some birds make loud noises. If you can’t bear loud noise, you may not want to consider a large bird. This is just one case. It is applicable to all the exotic birds and animals.”
Rani’s pet farm, which she inherited from her father, is home of a number of exotic animals and birds. Birds, fish, iguanas, lhasa apsos, monkeys and many more are at her home in Alappuzha, and she says it is not a mini zoo. The veterinarian who specialised in birds says that she has a wide variety of exotic birds at their home – such as macaws, grey parrots, amazons, cockatoos, conures, lorikeets, pionus, rosellas, lovebirds and more.
When people come to buy these animals and birds, she gives them some tips forehand, which are very important to keep in mind because you are dealing with not any common pet and she doesn’t want them to make any false moves.
“When considering an exotic animal as a pet, please do your homework. Just because you have money to buy an exotic animal, that does not make you eligible to look after it. Research what the animal needs as far as its habitat and diet are concerned. Consider the life span of the animal, its special needs and the local laws. Think whether you can provide all that the animal requires to live comfortably. Always keep the best interests of the animal in mind. The last thing we need for the animal is it ending up being released in the wild or living the rest of its life at a local animal shelter,” Rani says. “All our pets, whether domesticated or exotic, deserve respect and the proper care. Please keep this in mind when choosing a pet for your household. They deserve all we can provide for them when they are in our care.”
She also recommends that you consult a veterinarian or an expert whenever you find something odd. “These exotic animals, has a masking phenomenon that they develop in the wild. If they are injured or tired, they won’t let you understand the situation sometimes. This is one of their defensive mechanisms which help them from the predators. So if you have an exotic pet, that is tamed and under your custody, it might use this sometimes. So you need to keep a triad between the animal, the owner and the veterinarian, so that they can help you diagnose the problem,” she suggests.
“So make sure you are capable of looking after the pet first,” she concludes.