Many people find the idea of having wildlife as pet as exotic and exciting. This means that in the wild state those individuals that are genetically inferior and incur a disadvantage in terms of successful foraging, predator avoidance or mate acquisition for example are less likely to live and breed so ultimately their genetic contribution to the population as a whole is minimised.
The effect of providing belly heat only to an R.I. case is that respiratory secretions and infectious material accumulates to a greater extent in static animals sitting on belly heat than in those encouraged to move about more with the provision of adequate space, varied cage furnishings allowing movement in the horizontal and vertical planes as well as sufficient ambient heat to remain comfortable and regulate temperature throughout the entire enclosure as opposed to just in the immediate vicinity of a heat mat.
A walk on a leash through the park won’t make it. Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals may be caged, chained, or even beaten Sometimes, people will have an animal’s teeth or claws removed, so that the animal cannot harm the owner even when he does struggle.
Many times I have had a long discussion with a reluctant owner on the phone to try and assess whether the animal needs to be brought to the vets in the first place, and having asked various questions have a definite picture in my head of the case that will present to me the following day.
When a genetic mutation resulting in a desirable characteristic arises in a group of animals, one way to perpetuate that characteristic is to try to ”˜fix’ the genetics responsible by mating the animal with a desirable trait back to a closely related individual, often a sibling or parent.