Get The Facts:
Imagine being chained to a tree in a backyard for three months, with little food or water, and no hope for someone to find you ... or imagine weighing half the size of your normal body weight, suffering from severe malnutrition and anemia, calcium deficiency and numerous stress fractures ... or worse yet, being beaten repeatedly with a stick until your hide bleeds.
This is obviously not one’s ideal living situation — in a civilized society humans are not tied-up, unable to move freely about, deprived of necessary food and sustenance, nor do we live in cages while being forced to learn unnatural tricks to entertain the general public. The sad reality is that this is the life for thousands of captive wild animals in the United States.
In this article, I will give a brief overview of where captive wild animals are in the United States, how they are proliferating, and who owns them. In addition, I will review major federal, state and local laws that cover captive wild animals in the United States. This discussion will be broad based and outline the general federal laws that extend some type of protection to captive wild animals and then discuss specifically the state and local laws that govern private possession, roadside menageries, circuses and traveling shows. Lastly, this article will discuss the lack of enforcement of the current laws and the future trends to help captive wild animals in the United States.