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Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
03-28-2013, 05:35 PM,
#1
Rube Offline
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Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
There seems to be two sides to the argument about taking reptiles from the wild to export and sell as pets.

For: Some of those reptiles are regarded locally as pests, and harvesting them helps the local economy

Against: When certain reptile species are in demand as pets, wild populations diminish until they becomes threatened with extinction.

It really is preferable always to purchase a reptile that has been bred in captivity. I have heard that hundreds of reptiles fail to survive during transportation from their native land.

Some exotic species are protected by international law, but there is also concern about cheaper reptile pets. Some countries might decide to ban their import altogether.

It is important to know where exotic reptile pets originate, and to purchase only from a licenced trader or importer.
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03-30-2013, 01:41 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-30-2013, 01:42 PM by 4sweed.)
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
I would tend to agree with your statement about knowing where your pet came from and buying exotic ones from licensed dealers. In order to do this means you have a license to own that exotic reptile.

On the other hand if your pet is going to be a common garter snake or salamander, or lizard, as long as it is not a protected species then it is fine to get it from the wild. Many people catch local reptiles, keep them a spell, and let them go free again. It is a easy way to learn the proper care of a reptile, plus knowing if you are unable to care for it, it can be let loose back into the wilds, where it was found.
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04-09-2013, 01:26 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
Another thing to consider, many wild caught animals are MUCH harder to maintain and keep healthy in captivity. The one that comes to mind first are Green tree pythons (Morelia viridis). There is still a thriving industry unfortunately of wild caught animals imported regularly. And they are much cheaper than captive bred. But the two animals are so far different in keeping that I would almost say it's like keeping two different species. The W.C. animals are much harder to acclimate and keep healthy.

Another thought is the various parasites, bacteria, and other health problems that can come along with the animal, that could be spread if you have any other reptiles, so you are in essence putting the rest of your pets at risk, even with good quarantine procedures. And add to that the fact that treating a wild caught animal is risky in and of itself, again keeping a wild caught reptile healthy can be difficult.

And yes, many wild caught animals perish during the whole process.
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04-18-2013, 08:48 AM,
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sakee Offline
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
So in this case is it better to buy a reptile from a pet shop? Do most pet shops get their reptiles from breeders?
I always here that pet shops are not the best place to get your pets from due to ethical concerns. I'm sure at some point my sons are going to ask for an iguana or some other reptile, so this would be good to know now.
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04-19-2013, 02:12 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
(04-18-2013, 08:48 AM)sakee Wrote: So in this case is it better to buy a reptile from a pet shop? Do most pet shops get their reptiles from breeders?
I always here that pet shops are not the best place to get your pets from due to ethical concerns. I'm sure at some point my sons are going to ask for an iguana or some other reptile, so this would be good to know now.

Well, that really depends on the pet shop in question. You can't group all pet shops together. Unfortunately, most pet shops go with whatever is the cheapest option, and what the cheapest option is really depends on the species of animal in question. Iguanas, at least green iguanas, (Iguana iguana), more often than not, are going to be C.B. The importation from most countries has gone down over the years.

Your best bet is to try to buy directly from a breeder or reputable dealer, or at a quality reptile specific shop. A reptile show or expo is a good idea, if there is one local to you. You have a better chance to start off with a healthy animal, as many of them at some of the larger pet stores aren't always cared for well.

And on another note, iguanas can make great pets, but they are a big commitment, and do require some specific care, and they can get to 6' long on some occasions. I have a friend who has a pair that are over 20 years old.
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04-21-2013, 01:09 AM,
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
Thanks for sharing your opinion because it is different than the opinion I have always gotten from pet owners. Usually I hear never shop, always adopt, but I am starting to think differently about this.
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04-23-2013, 10:18 AM,
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
Well, I am not going to argue against adopting. We have three cats, and all are "pound kitties". But reptiles are a bit different. For a few reasons. One, health. Most reptiles given up for adoption haven't been cared for well unfortunately. They are usually n impulse buy that someone got bored with. And reptile heath problems are much different than mammalian problems, and it is harder for even experienced reptile vets to diagnose sometimes, and then treatment is worrisome to many. (Forcing meds down a snake or lizards throat seems much harder to some than hiding a pill in a hot dog, lol).

Two is behavior. This is the same as with many cats, dogs, etc, many adults are unsocialized. But socializing an unhappy iguana is no picnic.

If you have the time and resources, adopting would be a great thing to do. But, it definitely has the potential to be problematic.
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06-03-2013, 06:34 AM,
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
I'm going to basically spew out some of the same points Fishbone made here. I always ask when I'm buying something if it's W/C or CB. For a variety of important points....For one there is the risk of bringing any kind of unwanted parasites/illnesses into your home around the rest of your collection. Which yes you should always quarantine any new addictions, it's just better safe than sorry. Secondly it does take away from the natural environment in most cases. Then like Fishbone said, a lot of times they don't do so well in the transition from wild to captive. So in conclusion, yes I prefer captive bred and hatched.
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08-29-2013, 02:58 AM,
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
I've always wondered if it was even humane to keep a reptile in a cage like that. I've heard that the life span of a Chameleon is much longer in the wild compared to being held in captivity indoors. It doesn't surprise me, but it's still pretty sad to think about that. I saw a lot of them for sale when I was on the Jersey shore a couple of years ago, but I don't think I could ever keep one captive like that.
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09-08-2013, 07:43 PM,
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RE: Do you ask if an exotic pet reptile was captive bred or taken from the wild?
(08-29-2013, 02:58 AM)ohiotom76 Wrote: I've always wondered if it was even humane to keep a reptile in a cage like that. I've heard that the life span of a Chameleon is much longer in the wild compared to being held in captivity indoors. It doesn't surprise me, but it's still pretty sad to think about that. I saw a lot of them for sale when I was on the Jersey shore a couple of years ago, but I don't think I could ever keep one captive like that.

Tom, this is a GREAT point. Almost all reptile species, especially if captive bred, will ive much longer in captivity than the average life expectancy of that animal in the wild, IF THEY ARE KEPT PROPERLY. What qualifies as properly varies a great deal form species to species, but you can't just grab an animal and stick it in a 20 gallon tank with a heater and wonder why it died in 6 months. I know of people with chameleons over 15 years old and breeding. There are a few guys I know with Diamond pythons breeding at over 20 years old, and very healthy. There is dual sided coin here as well, because even some of the people who truly know better will breed the animals out in order to make money.

Any time you see animals for sale in the way you mentioned, it is probably a bad thing. The people buying them probably have very little information on their specific needs, and it will probably end badly.
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