Later this year, NBC will debut a new comedy set in an animal hospital called "Animal Practice." Justin Kirk (of Showtime's "Weeds") leads the cast, which also includes a real life Capuchin monkey, Crystal, as the character "Dr. Rizzo."
What’s needed to end exotic pet ownership?
Tim Harrison (Animal Advocate, featured in the film): Education. Do you see any show on TV that says, “There’s a cobra, let’s leave it alone”? No, they grab it by its tail and swing it around. People are bringing these animals into their homes, and they think they’re going to act like the surgically altered, sedated animals they see on the Jay Leno Show. If you bring a large [exotic] animal into your home, you’ve just signed a death warrant—one of you is going to die.
Mike Webber (Producer): I found it fascinating at the beginning to see these animals in the same way that a lot of the owners have. The problem is, it doesn’t take long for that fascination to start to wear off and to feel wrong and selfish. You think, “That tiger, it’s never going to run, it’s never going to hunt.” I reached a point where I was no longer interested in seeing animals in cages anymore. There’s a disrespect for the animal. Ultimately, we have to be able to change the mindset, so the ideas about animals are different in our society.
UPDATE 08/21/2015 : It never even occurred to me that this was still going on today, with all the awareness out there, until the recent news of the killing of the beloved Lion, Cecil. Enthusiasts are right to lay low, because this type of "sport," in 2015, is revolting. During the Colonial Era and up until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, fine, it was something people did. We can understand that. But, we have video cameras now. Cell phones can take pictures and video! Imagine that. And paint, we've always had paint. Karma will be very specific with those - with today's 21st century bank of knowledge - who hunt the species struggling to survive on this planet.