Ever find yourself at a shopping mall with a crowd of shoppers gawking at a tiger cub or baby bear, there for a photo shoot? Sure, you can get your once-in-a-lifetime chance to pet a wild animal for free or maybe just a few dollars but what does the baby animal have to pay?
Often these animals are taken from their families while newborn. They are then carted around to various venues for photo ops, commercials, or to promote an event. However, by the time they reach their teenage years and are no longer the cuddly cute creature we all like to ohh and ahh over, many are sent to roadside zoos, sold into the pet trade, killed for their meat, or wind up in someone’s backyard.
Aside from the physical danger of being in close proximity to these wild animals, we are also placed at risk for contracting a number of diseases that can be transmitted from wild animals to humans. So, resist the urge to pet that lion cub or that infant monkey. Resist the urge to visit petting zoos and other venues that advertise young animals on view. Because, when you think about it…petting a wild animal is just plain scary—for them as well as for us.