Since childhood, my younger brother has always wanted a pet. But his demand is not of an average pet like a dog, cat, horse, bird, turtle, fish or any other everyday creature of nature that we think of keeping in our house. He wants to pet a tiger and /or a lion and /or an elephant! Ridiculous, is it not? Since he does not have the means to fulfill his needs (currently), he keeps dreaming of becoming rich and keeping a real ‘Sheru’ at home. Rich people who can afford exotic animals and have a fixation for the same, often fulfill their desires. But is it a wise thing to do? What if your beloved pet turns on you one day thinking that you are its prey? Let me give you an insight into this kind of a lifestyle. These are two cases of what happened when you pet a wild animal.
Folly: Sandra L. Piovesan (50) had nine dogs. Except that they were not regular dogs- they were hybrids between dogs and wolves. Ms. Piovesan also had two Rottweilers that were neither kept nor bred with wolf-dogs. Aside from her animals she’d lived alone in the same house for about two decades and had separated from her husband and her daughter had grown up.Sandra thought that she had a spiritual connection with wolves but since she could not keep real wolves in her house, she decided to get half breeds as pets. She had raised all of them since childhood. She once told a neighbor they “give me unqualified love.” Ms. Piovesan treated her wolves like children, and said as much when neighbors asked about them. The fenced area in her backyard was about the width of a three-lane road, running the length of her house. The area was divided into sections: one for the wolf-dogs, one for her pair of Rottweilers, another for wolf puppies, with whom she’d play and romp. Ms. Piovesan provided the wolf-dogs with toys — a replica igloo, balls, a plastic playhouse.
Wolves have the tendency to claim leadership of their area once they mature– they want to become the Alpha. The owners of other breeds do not have to think about returning home from work and be scared to confront their Lab, Rottie or Poodle and fight for the Alpha status. Ms. Piovesan was last seen alive on a Sunday evening at around 8pm. Her body was found on Monday morning in a caged rectangular enclosure in her backyard, home for nine hybrids. The autopsy reported that she had suffered multiple soft tissue injuries and had been mauled to death by her very pets. These 9 hybrids were later euthanized while her 2 Rottweillers were sent to foster homes.
Slightly more than 300 people were killed by 403 dogs in the period from 1979-96, a report says. Fifteen wolf dog hybrids were involved in fatal attacks. Number one at 118 deaths was “pit bull types”, purebred and cross-bred; second was Rottweilers with 67 killings, third was mixed breed and fourth was German shepherds. Wolf dog hybrids came in ninth.There are not too many certified incidences of wolfdogs causing human fatalities. On August 1999, 4 year old Cody Tyler Fairfield was killed by his family’s German shepard/wolf mix when the animal crushed his throat and trachea. Another incident involved 8 wolf dogs killing a 73 year old woman whose son owned the animals.
Not a mistake yet: They are one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Yet, one family does not show any fear when it comes to their 7 pet tigers! Despite having no experience with tigers, Ary Borges rescued two tigers from a circus eight years ago, and has since multiplied the endangered species in his home in Brazil. Now he has a total of 7 tigers. His wife, 3 daughters and granddaughter also love the tigers and play with them. The daughters swim with the tigers and the granddaughter rides them around the backyard. The girls feed meat directly into the mouths of the fully-grown cats as they join their human friends in the kitchen for dinner- and they even lounge around the house in the evenings. The girls even walk the tigers on leads. “Every day since they were born we have taken care of them and fed them so their instincts become dormant”, they say. The eldest daughter’s husband is afraid of these big cats and wishes his wife and daughter were not so close to the tigers as they can be lethal. He fears that something will go wrong even after all the safety precautions are being taken, due to his innate fear of tigers, like most people. Ary was forced to abandon a breeding program after being told by officials that he needed a permit. But he now hopes to build a park so his beloved pets can roam free and he can educate others of the plight of endangered tigers. The Borges family is happy and safe so far.
Big cats (lions, tigers, mountain lions, jaguars, leopards etc) probably provide the most exciting news stories when they attack or fatally maul their caretaker, and the news media never misses a beat reporting on it. So if you can recall the last time you heard of a big cat attack, you will probably realize that they aren’t very common either, occurring on average about twice a year. The victim is almost always the owner or caretaker. Many fear that big cats will be a significant public safety threat should they escape into the wild, however it should be noted that no big cat escapes off the property of the animal’s enclosure have resulted in a fatality thus far.