Would you ever expect to see a 500-pound Bengal tiger taking a catnap in your backyard? If not, maybe you should. Exotic pet-ownership is on the rise and that comes with some serious consequences. Many people aren't well-equipped to care for an unusual pet like a chimpanzee, a capybara, or a python. But that didn't stop one woman from letting her exotic 'pet' get out into her neighborhood — with catastrophic results.
Take Liz Rose enjoyed a nice life in Massachusetts, and she wasn't alone in her household, either. Rose had a 3 1/2-foot Argentine black-and-white tegu lizard named Tiggs. These enormous beasts can be dangerous if not cared for properly, but Liz was part of a larger trend.
Exotic pets everywhere
Across America, exotic pet ownership is on the rise. The appeal of raising a specialty pet, whether a skunk or a stingray, is intoxicating. But people had no idea just how many exotic animals were in the U.S. until recently.
Unusual pet problems
In 2016, the American Veterinary Medical Association released a study reporting that 13% of American households had at least one exotic pet! These animal owners often encounter trouble when raising their unique friends.
See, while caring for a cat or dog is relatively straightforward, most people aren't trained enough to be taking care of something like a wallaroo; these are still wild animals after all. Liz knew a bit about that. But she and many owners encountered a more pointed problem.