Exotic pet trade, explained

Each year millions of exotic animals are sold around the world, destined for people’s basements and backyards. The term “exotic” doesn’t have a set definition, but https://animal.direct/  it usually refers to a wild animal or one that’s   The booming business in exotic pets is known as the exotic pet trade.

Some of this trade is legal, but many times animals are captured from the wild illegally to supply demand for exotic pets. The illicit sales of live animals comprises a major part of the overall , a multibillion-dollar global black market. People have kept exotic pets throughout history, but  . Much of this can be attributed to the popularity of e-commerce and social media websites, which have provided a way for people to   They’ve also popularized exotic animals by providing a place where people can show them off. A flurry of videos posted to YouTube in 2015 of   went viral and led to poaching of the wide-eyed primates for the pet trade. Some exotic pets are bred in captivity. Conservationists often see captive breeding as a way to save wild animals from poaching for the pet trade, and many countries allow for the export of captive-bred animals as long as the proper legal documents are obtained.

But countless animals are taken from the wild before they’re sold as pets. After an animal is plucked from the wild—often in violation of the law—it might be used in a breeding operation, sold locally, smuggled out of the country, or  and exported legally. Researchers have discovered that people are “laundering” Indian star tortoises from Jordan, red-eyed tree frogs from Nicaragua, and many other species.

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