Should people keep wild animals as pets?

Keeping wild animals as pets is becoming popular, says the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Pictures of a tiger cub tied to a leash in its owner’s backyard were circulated on Facebook, prompting members of the public to urge the SPCA to remove the animal. The animal is being kept as a pet at a Boksburg home.

The SPCA’s manager for wildlife protection, Ainsley Hay, speaking to 702's Azania Mosaka, said their hands were tied.

Listen to the full conversation below:

“The issue is, it's not illegal to have an indigenous or exotic animal as a household pet,” said Hay, adding that the law needed to be changed.

Ainsley Hay, SPCA’s manager for wildlife protection

He said the SPCA had approached the Gauteng Nature Conservation group, which had in turn informed them nothing could be done about the tiger cub.

Our concern is the safety of the animal, as well as the safety of others. The animal can become extremely dangerous to the public.

Ainsley Hay, SPCA’s manager for wildlife protection

The wildlife protection officer went on to say people thought raising a wild animal was "cool". But, she added, they failed to consider the implications of what would happen once the wild cat matured.

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