BLACK BEARS sybils den
Welcome to Sybil's Den.  This site is meant for information purposes  on raising  pet exotics animals based on my experience.  There are care sheets for black bears, foxes, raccoons, emus, farm animals and domestic animals.   Also please find a very informative message board with a lot of great members.

For some of the species of animals I have or had information on, You will find their photo gallery.

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Questions to ask yourself before getting an exotic animal

(written by: Kelsey)
(trish_clare)member of sybil's Message board)

1. Are they legal in my state?
Before deciding to get any exotic animal, it is important to check whether or not they are legal where you live.
You should check with your Fish and Wildlife Division, Department of Natural Resources, and your local animal control.

Some counties and cities also have their own ordinances for the ownership of exotic pets, meaning that an "okay" by the state doesn't necessarily mean it's allowed by your county.   It is important to cover all of your bases before making the decision to own an exotic animal, as failure to do so could result in your animal being seized and possibly euthanized.

2. Are you financially stable?
The adoption price of your animal is only the starting point - keep in mind that you will be spending a large sum of money on cages/enclosures, food, toys, veterinary care and other factors. Veterinarians often charge more expensive prices for exotic animals.

3. Is there a knowledgeable vet who has agreed to treat your animal?
Before placing down a deposit you must make sure that there is a vet in your area that is not only willing to treat your animal but knows how to do so. Many vets do not know that exotics cannot be given live vaccinations like domestic cats and dogs can as it will kill them. You should also acquire a back up vet in the case that you have an emergency.

4. Do you have the time?
Most exotics require a large amount of time spent with them. They won't do well in a home where they are left alone for long periods of time - most require constant attention to keep them from reverting back to wild tendencies. If you have a busy life and are not at home a lot, an exotic animal is probably not the best animal for you.

5. Do you have the next 10-20 years of your life planned out?
Many exotics bond with only one person and dislike changes, such as additions to a family (including new pets, marriages, or children) or new environments (such as moving to a new house).

6. Are you ready to give up vacations?
Impulse buyers oftentimes don't think of the fact that they may, potentially, have to give up their vacations (including Thanksgiving) once they add an exotic animal to their home.  Even if you manage to find someone who is fine with dealing with a potentially dangerous animal or tasks such as feeding them live food, exotics generally dislike and feel uncomfortable around strangers. Also, do you trust this person with the care of your animal? What would they do if he or she became injured and refused to get into a crate?  What if they escaped?

7. Are neighbors, landlords and family on board?
While you will be the primary care giver, it is important to make sure everyone around you is on board too. Firstly, if you do not own your house, you should get it in writing that your landlord is okay with your animal living there. It is unfair to not only the animal but your landlord to bring in a pet you know you are not allowed to keep. Will your neighbors feel uncomfortable with you having this animal, even if you are a responsible owner? Will your family pressure you to get rid of him or her in the case that you have a child, or negative habits emerge?

8. What if something happens to you?
No one likes to think about it, but it is always a possibility and thus should be thought out. Where would your animal go if something happens to you? You should make plans for them to live with friends, family, or even a sanctuary.

9. Are you ready to handle negative outcomes?
Unlike domesticated animals, exotics usually bond with their owners and do not re-home well. If your exotic performs negative behaviors you must be ready to handle it, even if it means building an outdoor enclosure where he or she can live the rest of their life. Problems may range from inappropriate peeing, biting or hissing, a sudden dislike of animals they grew up with, etc.

10. Have you fully researched this animal and its needs?
This is an extremely important step to consider. Before placing down a deposit or adopting any animal, you should know everything from its diet to its eventual size. Make sure you are aware of any negative behaviors your animal may exhibit - and be prepared for them.

11. Why do you want this animal?
This is a question that is oftentimes overlooked by future owners, but it is still very important. Make sure you are not adopting for the wrong reasons, such as the fact that a certain animal looks cool or cute.

Many thanks to Kelsey  for writing this article.
 (trish_clare, member of sybil's Message board)