Please stop buying axolotls and other exotic animals for pets

Originally published at: Please stop buying axolotls and other exotic animals for pets | Boing Boing


We bought ours after a lot of research before Minecraft tried to really popularise them Still going strong but theres some basics to learn for sure before getting one. Viva Caudata.


I’m inclined to disagree on Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons. They are so common in the pet trade that , at least here in the states, they are almost exclusively captive bred. Axolotls at least, are very endangered in the wild, and just about the only place I’d ever seen them for sale was in a mall kiosk labeling them as “Baby Dinosaurs”, selling them with about the same level of care that state fairs used to give away green iguanas as prizes.


Buy plushies instead. Less money, less work, less abuse (one hopes, including the factory workers). You can even buy sacred and mythological animal & animal gods plushies.

All via ebay.


Some amphibians ask few questions; but some axolotl.


30 posts were split to a new topic: I would like the BBS Authors to agree, please

Ooof. It’s bad enough when a specific breed of dog gets popularized - you end up with puppy mills to meet demand and people buy them with no notion of what they require (or at least no realistic notion, since it’s usually tv shows or movies that cause the demand with a total fantasy of what the animals are like). So, so much worse when it’s a wild animal, and worse yet when the wild animal populations are threatened at all.


I recall that Disney put out PSAs before 101 Dalmatians for that reason. Because Dals are not “easy” dogs.
I speak personally from our family having a long series of Dals, and me carrying scars from one of them (the dog and I had an understanding regarding personal space after that).


Axolotls in the exotic pet trade have always been 100% captive bred- pretty much all of them can be traced back to a 19th century importation into Paris.

Ball pythons, bearded dragons and axolotls are not really representative of problems with exotic pets- they’re captive bred, easy to keep (certainly easier than ‘traditional’ pets like cats and dogs) and unlikely to harm their owners.

Paywalled for me.


some are reconsidering even the non-exotic animals


I read the headline aloud to my wife, who replied “at least it’s keeping them alive, they’re almost gone in Mexico”


Having pets is contentious. Quite literally these days, so is breathing. Ethics around imports are clearer than ethics around captive bred populations. I can follow along that path for a while. “Domestication is unnatural and impure” feels like a naturalism fallacy though or a religious belief.

Even then: A return to the garden is impossible. That’s the point of that story imo.


Sort of- the captive lines have diverged genetically from the wild stock. Many of them include tiger salamander DNA from previous hybridisation.

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Axolotls are nearly extinct in the wild. The pet trade had kept this from happening. Getting a captive bred animal is important after doing the research to provide proper husbandry.

Feral (stray and street) cats on average have a two year lifespan. Even pet cats who go outside average much more longevity.

I have never heard what a stray pupper’s avg lifespan is. Probably about the same, or a little more.

Our cats are affectionate, often follow us about, and usually sleep with us. The young one wanders into the kitchen to be near me if I’m out there too long for his taste, even if he was sound asleep and knows I’m just washing dishes. He’ll flop on the floor by me or watch me from a chair.

Our older cat willingly lived on our front porch for months, waiting for us to be able to afford to get him fixed & bring him inside.

Our current pair gleefully chase each other up and down the stairs, up and down the halls, and the younger one loves playing fetch with small crumpled up paper bags.

We had two other cats who had left their homes in the neighborhood to live with us. We didn’t take them, they just took to us. They liked that we weren’t drunks, had no kids who pulled their tails, and that usually someone was home during the day.

I see the stray cats in our neighborhood and my heart breaks for them. The longhairs have filthy matted coats; some have had eye injuries; most of them pretty quickly disappear.

An ideal world would involve only wanted pets: no strays of any kind anywhere, and only the best treatment for all, including big pets like horses, and livestock, too. :crying_cat_face:

I would imagine our cats are much happier than those strays, especially when the older one climbs purring onto my BF, and pats his beard with a paw, then rubs his head against his chin.


I thought the capybara was held in an apartment building. That would be cruel.

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Archive for the article:


People have a very strong tenancy to romanticize wild animals and the lives they lead. In fact, wild animals live short brutal lives, infested with parasites, riddled with dental problems, and spending much of their time cold and hungry. It’s just how nature is. It’s tough out there. Evolution makes sure everyone lives just long enough to reproduce. It doesn’t care about “happy and healthy”.

This is not to say we should interfere with wild animals in any way or not let them live those lives, because they are important. However the idea that our domesticated cats and and dogs would be happier without us is patently silly.


preach christina aguilera GIF

And the headline for that linked article is misleading. The article is pretty much all about dogs, I saw nothing about cats.
We’ve had plenty of cats adopt us over the years. They do not know how to “fake it” and definitely make it clear when they don’t want to be around you. It’s not rocket surgery.