As a kid, I loved “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” I had an older brother so I was a bit of a tomboy. I read recently that the popularity of the franchise caused a spike in ownership of exotic turtles. That was a couple of decades ago. Today, the exotic pet trade is still going strong, and thanks to the internet, many animals can be bought with just the click of a mouse. This is wreaking havoc for animals of the world that aren’t meant to be pets.

For example, Slow Lorises have become increasingly popular as a pet. They’re super cute, and a video has circulated for a few years of one of the animals being tickled and allegedly loving it. According to a Dodo report, though, they hate it, and they’re raising their arms to get at venomous glands they can lick before they bite you. Wait, they can’t bite you because their teeth are clipped out before they arrive at a home. Another fun fact: They’re also nocturnal so the bright lights of their new space is painful to them.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the wildlife trade is a $10 billon industry. That includes the exotic pet trade, but also poaching, captive hunting and the fur trade, too. The Humane Society also reports that 5,000-7,000 tigers are estimated to be living in the United States, but that fewer than 400 of them are in accredited zoos. Yes, even tigers, incredibly dangerous animals, are being kept as pets or in captive situations.

Are you an organization fighting against the exotic pet trade? An animal welfare public relations agency like Orange Orchard can help. We love animals, and our pets — the non-exotic variety like cats and dogs — are part of the family. Exotic animals, like tigers, Slow Lorises and turtles — not the ninja variety — are amazing creatures, but they don’t belong in a cage in someone’s homemade habitat.

We know you want to keep wildlife as wild as possible. Animal welfare is a priority for us, and we’d love to help you. Contact us today, and let us get started.