Reflections on an age-old struggle
THE CONSENSUS AMONG CONSERVATIONISTS is that it’s not okay to raise wild animals as pets. But in this 1966 article for National Wildlife®, wildlife manager Ed Park explored the pros and cons in endearingly personal terms. When two boys brought him some bobcat kittens they mistakenly thought had been abandoned, Park bottle fed them and raised the one survivor as a pet. Though he outlines the dangers, difficulties and ethical dilemma of caring for wild creatures (including, in his case, a coyote!), he couldn’t say it was always wrong. Now, as then, it’s illegal without a special permit. So, with due respect to Park’s kind heart, it’s best to let nature take its course.
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