Every year, a variety of sources provides millions of animals to the exotic pet trade. Animals are captured from their native habitats and transported to various countries to be sold as pets. Others are surplus animals from zoos or their offspring. Backyard breeders also supply exotic animals.
It is absurdly easy to obtain an exotic pet. More than 1,000 Internet sites offer to sell, give care advice, and provide chat rooms where buyers and sellers can haggle over a price. Helping to facilitate the exotic pet trade is the Animal Finders’ Guide, which carries ads from dealers, private parties, breeders, ranchers, and zoos offering large cats, monkeys, and other exotic animals for sale.
The sellers of these animals, however, make no mention of the state or local laws regulating private possession of exotics, or of the dangers, difficulties, physical and physiological needs of the animals they peddle. The suffering of the animals in the hands of unqualified and hapless buyers appears to be of no concern in the lucrative exotic pet trade.