Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: April 24, 2018
Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers

Since 2008 there there have been countless cases of exotic animals belonging to drug traffickers being seized worldwide. However, it is not uncommon to find a large portion of these cases in Latin America: Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela are the main and most popular places where this type of animal are kept.

But don't be so shocked - the United States, Spain and many other countries also have "exotic" animals living in inappropriate conditions. Monkeys, lions, snakes and panthers are a few examples.

How do they get hold of them? Why are animal lovers so outraged? Is it good to have these animals living in a mansion? Here, with AnimalWised, you can find out all about exotic animals owned by drug traffickers, along with truly shocking photographs:

You may also be interested in: Illegal Animal Trade in India

Why do drug traffickers want exotic animals?

Power and money certainly makes many people obsessive about luxury, extravagance and overspending. Golden AK-47 rifles went out of fashion in favor of exotic animals on large estates.

Drug kingpins are no longer satisfied boasting about their private mansions or designer clothes. They now want to indulge in turtle skin boots, small private menageries or simply to keep animals that will never be pets. Wild animals, then, are a way to show off power.

Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers - Why do drug traffickers want exotic animals?

Why it is so disturbing to own an exotic animal?

They are probably unaware of, or ignore the origin of these animals - or they just don't care. In fact, they may want to keep and flaunt these animals precisely because it is illegal to do so. You may not know it, but the actions taken in order to get an exotic animal have serious consequences for the fauna of an ecosystem.

For instance, young monkeys cannot be separated from their mother. The young cling on to their mother so tight that the mother has to be killed in order to take the little one away. The majority of lions come from recently discovered "lion farms" or "lion enclosures". Animals bred exclusively for trading this kind of species end up either in these large mansions or as an easy hunting trophy for those who visit the area.

70% of transported animals die before reaching their destination, during the course of the journey. In order to get the animals, they sometimes carry out illegal practices that have a serious impact on the animals who are in danger of extinction, increasingly closer to reaching their end. Not to mention lack of basic care, deficiencies in diet or disregard for their proper habitat.

Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers - Why it is so disturbing to own an exotic animal?

The fate of the exotic animals

Cases ofexotic animals confiscated by the police have been openly reported. The most serious situations include certain species used for the shipment of cocaine (either alive or dead), reported by Excelsior, the Mexican national newspaper.

But, in the end, all animals that have been separated from their habitat suffer the same consequences which include - at their lightest - anxiety, stress and stereotypy. Over time, monkeys, as well as big cats, become aggressive and unpredictable. Other animals such as snakes can be frighteningly lethal.

None of them will be able to reintegrate in their natural habitat. Exotic animals owned by drug traffickers and similar people are condemned to a life in captivity when they arrive at large mansions.

Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers - The fate of the exotic animals

If you want to read similar articles to Exotic Animals Owned by Drug Traffickers, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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