Animal Planet Presents Cautionary Tales of Human Ego Run Amok When FATAL ATTRACTIONS Premieres Aug. 16
"I don't regret any of it," says Julie Burros, former owner of a full-grown black leopard that nearly killed her. "The only thing I regret is that I lost my JoJo."
Just how close can you really get to wild animals? Exotic pet ownership is not as rare as one might think - or as wildlife experts wish. Millions of exotic animals are brought to the United States every year and a significant number of them have the potential to severely injure or kill their owners, neighbours and family.
Premiering Monday, August 16, at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, Animal Planet presents FATAL ATTRACTIONS a three-part series that goes inside the homes of wild pet owners who insist that sharing their lives with deadly big cats, chimpanzees and venomous reptiles is worth the risk. With wild animal attacks making headlines now more than ever, Animal Planet digs deep to uncover what causes human fascination with these dangerous animals and what drives these owners' obsessions.
Each episode of FATAL ATTRACTIONS features several exotic pet ownership cases that are carefully re-enacted, scrutinized and questioned as human behaviour experts and animal authorities bring forth their educated opinions and analysis. Owners unhesitatingly share their experiences with exotic pets and offer explanations as to why their love for these deadly animals is worth jeopardizing something horrible - even death.
"It's common for exotic animal owners to believe they have a special kinship with their animals," says Josephine Martell, program director of the Captive Wild Animal Protec
tion Campaign, "often to a degree that becomes extreme when they compromise their own and others' safety as well as the welfare of the animals."
Many owners of wild animals are in complete denial about the needs or safety concerns of large, free-ranging carnivores. And despite what they believe, no amount of love or companionship can take the wild out of wildlife - appropriate care for wild animals requires considerable expertise, specialized facilities and lifelong dedication. Wild animals, by nature, are self-sufficient and fare best without our interference. Their instinctive and innate behaviour makes them unsuitable as pets.
What do you think about Fatal Attractions? Post your comments below.
While their love, admiration and intrigue is genuine, these exotic pet owners often ignore the fact that their choice of a pet could cost them, innocent bystanders or their beloved pets their lives. Why is it then that some people are comfortable with domestic pets like cats and dogs but others go to extremes to find companionship and love from animals that have the strong potential to kill them?