PDN Photo of the Day

To Own or Not to Own Exotic Pets

Photographer Vincent Musi has photographed many animals. There are separate categories on his website for big cats, sheep and domesticated pets, for example. National Geographic magazine hired Musi to document exotic pet owners across America for its April 2014 cover story, “Wild Obsession: The perilous attraction of owning exotic pets.” The compelling article discusses both sides. Pet owners who feel they are protecting wild animals and are motivated by “a desire to preserve and protect threatened species.” Author Lauren Slater continues, “but advocacy groups like Born Free USA and the World Wildlife Fund say that captive breeding of endangered species by private owners—whether for commercial, conservation, or educational reasons—serves only to perpetuate a thriving market for exotic animals. That, in turn, results in a greater risk to animals still living in their natural habitat. Conservation efforts should focus on protecting animals in the wild, they assert, not on preserving what are often inbred animals in private zoos.”


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