The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary is a permanent home, a place of refuge, for our exotic animals. A majority of these animals have been abused, abandoned, neglected, confiscated, or previously owned by individuals unwilling or unable to provide for these animals. Fortunately, these animals are lucky to have a happy ending at IEAS where they are well fed and properly cared for. However, that is not the case for many exotic animals.
|Shauna, our 23-year-old lioness, was once an illegal pet living in a backyard of a suburban home.|
In the United States, regulation of private ownership of exotic animals, including felines, wolves, bears, reptiles, and non-human primates, is determined by each state. This allows for loopholes and oversight when owning exotics. In Texas, owners must obtain a license to possess an exotic animal. While breeding, selling and transporting exotic animals is technically legal on a federal level, many of the animals are brought to the U.S. illegally. Every year, thousands of animals are entering the exotic pet trade. These animals are often captured from their native habitat and smuggled in or legally imported.
|Sunshine was bought from a safari park in Springfield, MO. His owner was in violation of the law and Sunshine was confiscated.|
Wildlife trafficking is estimated to be a $19 billion per year global business, which is just behind illegal trafficking of drugs, humans, and firearms. This is a huge problem with little consequences. If a person is caught illegally transporting animals into the United States on a first offense, it is possible that their consequence won’t result in jail time. On the contrary, if that same person was caught illegally transporting drugs into the country, on their first offense they may get a maximum of 40 years.
|Prince and Princess were found in a puppy mill. We believe they were trying to illegally breed them for the illegal wildlife trade.|
The illegal wildlife trade is quickly escalating into a crisis that is directly threatening the survival of many species in the wild, including but not limited to, tigers, leopards, and elephants. At this point, you may be wondering what you can do to help! Get involved! You could start locally at the IEAS by volunteering or donating to help provide a better life for our animals. There are also many other organizations whose focus is to help save endangered animals and put a stop to this illegal trafficking, including Stop Wildlife Crime and World Wildlife Fund.
|Nahla was once a pet and escaped after a flood. Her owner was in violation of city ordinance for having a "dangerous animals" within city limits.|