Introduction to Exotic Animals and Ethical Sourcing


What is an exotic animal?

An animal which is not native to the country which it is residing in

'indigenous species of animal that is less commonly kept as a pet'

  • a species that cannot be domesticated
  • if they are domestic they are NOT exotic
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Sourcing: Captive Bred

The animal is bred in captivity. The parents were in captivity when they mated and offspring were born in captivity.


  • don't need to take from the wild
  • offspring of endangered species are safer when captive-bred
  • can help educate the public about the species


  • no natural behaviours
  • don't know how to survive in the wild
  • limited gene pool
  • can prevent natural learnt behaviours from being established 
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Sourcing: Captive Born

A gravid (pregnant) female was caught and later gave birth or laid her eggs in captivity. 


  • less chance of problems during birth as there are none of the stresses from the wild
  • less chance of the birth being interrupted 
  • more genetic variation


  • extra stress during transport that may be fatal for unborn offspring
  • decreases the population of the species in the wild
  • may not learn all necessary natural behaviours as the environment is artificial
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Sourcing: Captive Farmed

A piece of land is sectioned off or protected and the animals are left to live freely and breed as they like, then we go and take the young/eggs.


  • conservation
  • newly hatched animals under less stress
  • maybe allowed in an enclosure close to its natural habitat


  • tend to be highly stressed and aggressive
  • not learnt natural instincts from parents or the environment
  • decreased genetic variation 
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Sourcing: Long-term Captive

An animal that has been caught from the wild but has been in captivity for a long period of time, and has become tame


  • beneficial for species under threat in the wild
  • have learnt from experiences in captivity
  • keeps endangered species safe for the time being


  • unlikely to survive if reintroduced to the wild
  • hard to tell if a behaviour is natural or something picked up from captivity
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Sourcing: Wild Caught

An animal caught as an adult from the wild and kept in captivity, may never be tame (depends on species, age etc.)


  • conservation
  • protect threatened habitats if overpopulated
  • genetic diversity
  • cheaper initial price


  • overexploitation
  • upset ecosystem
  • welfare (stress)
  • acclimatization 
  • feeding
  • ethics
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