Having animals at home as pets can be so much fun, as these creatures sometimes do the funniest things and can keep you company in times when you’re lonely. Dogs and cats are the most common household pets, but time and time again, we see people domesticate wild animals like snakes, hyenas, alligators, tigers and even bears. While it may seem awesome to keep these wild animals as pets, it is equally dangerous because you never know when their wild nature will kick in. However, some daredevils still go ahead and rare them anyway. This article will reveal all you need to know about keeping one of such wild animals (wild bears) as a pet. So what is it like to own a pet bear?
What Is It Like To Own A Pet Bear?
Having a bear for a pet is like having a bag full of explosives: It’s OK so long as it’s undisturbed and nothing goes wrong, but one mistake and everything explodes, leaving you dead. Imagine keeping a 1,500-pound animal whose bite is strong enough to crush the hardest bones, and can attain speeds of 40mph. That’s what you’ll be staring in the face every time you go to feed or bathe it (if the bear would even allow you to).
Now imagine you want to train a bear; how do you start? Would you smack or whip it when it poops in the wrong place? Or can you carry it in your arms to see a vet?
Sometimes people see circus owners owning lions, bears, and elephants, and they feel they can replicate the domestication process. Keeping a pet bear can be very challenging, and this is only the least of your problems.
Challenges With Keeping A Bear Pet
Do you know how much money circus owners spend on maintaining their circus animals? Except you’re a billionaire of some sort, you shouldn’t think of owning a bear or any wild animal for that matter.
For one, you’ll have to feed them right. A bear weighs over 1,000 pounds, and it must eat at least half of its body weight every day; that’s at least 700 pounds of meat for an adult bear. So you do the math if you spend, say, $1000 on meat every day for a year for your bear.
Secondly, before you can keep a bear, you’ll need a large yard space. We’re talking 1,500 pounds here, so a dog cage won’t cut it. It’s also very likely that your bear would prefer the open space (it’s a wild animal, after all). So you have to prepare a huge space of land where it can roam free.
Very Stressful and Inconvenient
If you had to take your dog for a walk, all you’d do is get your collar, and you’re set to go. But can you do this with a bear? No. Yet bears, just like any other pet, need exercise and fresh air to stay healthy.
There’s also a chance that your bear will be hostile to everyone except you, so you’re also tasked with keeping it calm, especially in the presence of people who may visit your home.
The true inconvenience of keeping a pet bear is actually in training right from the time it’s a cub. This is the only way you can keep a bear in your home: You have to get a bear when it’s still a cub and then try to domesticate it.
Except you’ll be hiring someone to train your bear for you (which you shouldn’t if you want the bear to know you very well as its owner and friend), you’ll be doing all the tasks yourself. You know how difficult it is to train a kitten or pup; training a bear cub is twice the challenge
Just know that a single bite from a bear can crush your bones, whether it bites you playfully in play mode or angrily in kill mode. You’re literally risking your life when you keep a bear for a pet. These animals can get depressed, especially when locked in enclosures, and the result may be that they’ll attack you. Besides depression, you never know when their wild instincts will kick in.
There have been many reports of owners who’ve been killed by their bears. Some were attacked, and some died while playing with the bear. In one instance, the lady was hugging her bear, and she fell backwards, and it laid on her (the way your dog would lie on you). She tried to get away from under her bear, but she couldn’t (we’re talking 1500 pounds here); in the end, she suffocated to death.
That’s a true-life story and a typical example of how fast things can go wrong.
Do bears make good pets?
No. Bears do not make good pets at all. As a fact, there’s no record of anyone who has been able to domesticate a bear successfully. Regardless of what breed or type, bears are bears, and they belong in the wild.
The only bear you can keep that is a bit safe is Koalas. But note that Koalas aren’t bears; they only look like bears.
How About I Keep A Panda?
Pandas are cute black and white bears that seem gentle and eat bamboo leaves. As opposed to their furry siblings, these bears seem more domestic since they have a gentle nature and eat bamboo. But in the end, they’re still bears. You’re still risking the same thing and facing the same challenges as you would if it were a brown or grizzly bear.
Is it legal to own a bear?
Yes, and no. In terms of rights, you have the right to choose whatever animal you want to keep as a pet. But then there are some states that do not allow people to domesticate certain wild animals, bear inclusive.
Here are the only states in the US where you can keep a bear as a pet with no restrictions whatsoever:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
Popular countries and their stance on keeping wild animals as pets
|Country||Verdict on keeping wild animal pets|
|USA||Legal in some states, permit needed in others|
|UK||License needed in any case|
|China||Illegal to own as a pet, but legal for bear farming|