Wild Animal Instincts
The animals who live at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary, due to truly unfortunate circumstances, will live their lives in a captive setting, rather than in the wild. This, however, does not mean they are domesticated! Many people have the misconception that, because they were raised by humans, tigers, lions, and other animals living in a captive setting, will be affectionate, trusting, and safe for humans to be around. This is not AT ALL the case.
Here at IEAS, we are careful to never get TOO comfortable. We stress the understanding that though these animals know us and often trust us (to a degree), we would never be 100% safe around them. A wild animal's instincts, regardless of how they are raised, can be very strong and VERY dangerous!
We get reminders every day that the animals we care for are, in fact, wild. It doesn't take much to indicate that an animal is feeling a bit instinctual. Thor and Duchess, two cougars, instinctively stalk humans as they pass by, only moving when our backs are turned. As another example, tigers, being ambush predators, would normal pounce on their prey when they least expect it. As such, if we were to turn our backs to them at the wrong moment, it could cause them to jump, simply as a natural reaction. For this reason, we are extremely careful and aware of every animal we work around, thereby avoiding any unnecessary excitement or agitation.
So, remember - regardless of how they are raised, wild animals are just that - WILD! Animal instincts are strong and innate!
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