In yet another tragic example of why large wild species should not be kept as pets, a 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman was killed by her pet black bear. She entered the 350 pound bear’s cage, a 15 by 15 foot steel and concrete enclosure (hardly a good environment for a bear) and was mauled. A neighbour then shot and killed the bear. A Bengal tiger and African lion were also present on the property. No indication was given about what might have triggered the attack.

Large carnivorous mammals don’t make good pets. It’s also questionable whether people can adequately and humanely care for such animals. I have a hard time believing the bear had a good quality of life living in a small steel and concrete pen. The picture above is not from this case but from another bear enclosure elsewhere  in Pennsylvania (see link here).

Every year, there are reports of these types of "pets" severely injuring or killing their owners, yet there is little effort in many regions to control the ownership of these animals. Local officials knew about these animals and the woman had permits for them. Why (and how) someone could actually get a permit to keep these species is beyond me.

Pets are great, but pet ownership has to be logical and safe, and there have to be benefits for both the human and animal. Keeping dangerous animals locked up for curiosity’s sake is no longer (or at least should no longer be) socially acceptable. These animals should be in the wild or in a properly managed zoo or wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary.