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Wild Animals as Pets

Snakes, star tortoises (see above picture), iguanas, tarantulas, scorpions, salamanders, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, slow lorises, and gibbons are examples of wild pets.

Keeping wild animals as pets is banned in Singapore. The sale or (even display) of these animals is an offence under Singapore law.

Under the Wild Animals and Birds Act, any person who kills, takes or keeps any wild animal or bird (other than those specified in the Schedule) without a licence shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and to the forfeiture of the wild animal or bird.

 Why should we not keep them as pets?

  • They may introduce and spread diseases to humans and domestic animals.
  • Collection of wild animals for sale threatens the survival of endangered species. 
  • It also causes many wild animals to suffer and die.

For example, to capture baby orangutans, poachers kill their mothers who may protect them. It also makes the poacher's job easier because instead of running away, the baby orangutans cling to their mothers’ dead body in fright.

  • The welfare of the animals may be compromised due to reasons such as unsuitable living conditions, poor diet and pet owner's lack of knowledge of the proper care for the animal.

For example, Star Tortoises are terrestrial. This means they live on land only and cannot swim. The Star Tortoise is particularly sensitive and fragile. The species is extremely sensitive to respiratory problems if kept in conditions that are too cold or too damp.

  • Many wild animals die while they are being transported in poor conditions.

On 4 May 2015, more than 24 critically endangered cockatoos were rescued by police after being found stuffed in water bottles for illegal trade. Smugglers crammed the Yellow-crested cockatoos into empty bottles so they could get through customs at Port of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Indonesia. When Indonesian Police discovered the birds they cut them free so the birds could receive medical attention.

The Yellow Crested Cockatoo is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 2007.

Find out more on this story here