In the hands of unprepared caretakers, many exotic animals die or are abandoned. The head of the Environmental Crime Investigation unit in Western Cape, South Africa, estimates that 90% of exported reptiles die within a year due to poor conditions and lack of knowledge.
Other people will try to return unwanted animals to their natural homes or abandon them outdoors. Without appropriate habitats or rehabilitation, these animals know very little about their abilities and may starve or fall victim to the elements or predators. If they do survive, they may overpopulate and wreak havoc with the ecosystem, killing native species.
Its not just taking care of these pets that is not easy, but also the way they are yanked away from their homes and have to go through horrible transport conditions. Many of these pets do not even survive the trip from their homes in places like Africa and Brazil. Parrots may have their beaks and feet taped to easily be hidden in luggage, and stolen bird and reptile eggs are concealed in special vests so that couriers can bypass X-ray machines at airports.
It is extremely important to allow animals the freedom they deserve, especially rare animals. Today, there are more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild. To love an animal does not mean that one must possess it, and owning a pet for personal satisfaction should not be the only reason to deprive an animal of its natural habitat.