"I'm thinking of getting an exotic pet…" - Wild or exotic animals are found in nature, and have evolved behaviors and adaptations that allow them to survive in their natural habitats. Domestic animals have been selectively bred through many generations to develop specific traits that can make them excellent pets.
There are many reasons why wild or exotic animals do not make good pets, including safety, legal, conservation, welfare, and health issues. To learn more about all of these issues, as well as for suggestions on which types of animals make good pets, please reference the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) website.
Many people think of zoos and aquariums as places where disenchanted pet owners can "donate" their problem pets. Modern zoos and aquariums, however, have established wildlife conservation as their highest priority. One way of increasing their efforts in this endeavor is to discourage the taking of animals from the wild by not accepting donations of pets.
Finding the Animal a New Home
If you've found yourself with an exotic animal pet that you can no longer take care of, there are some options available to you. A quick internet search will reveal many animal rescue organizations that will help you find a good home for your pet.
If you need assistance with finding an organization, please call us at 201-634-3100 ext. 3114. We also have a list of organizations that can help online.
Injured / Orphaned Wildlife
In an effort to protect the health and well-being of the animals in our collection, the zoo does not accept injured or orphaned wildlife. If you have found a wild "orphan" or injured animal, please refrain from removing it from the area until you have spoken with a professional wildlife rehabilitations. You can find a list of licensed rehabilitation organizations in New Jersey online.
If you need further assistance, please call the zoo at 201-634-3100 ext. 3110.