America's Healthiest Pets: 3 Pets to Avoid

Even though wild animals can be really cute, they can carry health risks and are better left in the great outdoors.


These animals carry health risks and are better left in the great outdoors, experts say.

Turtles
Theyre cute, but these and other reptiles like snakes and lizards can carry salmonella (a serious bacterial disease that can also be transmitted through tainted food like peanuts), which can cause diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, and vomiting.

Primates
Even small monkeys and chimpanzees are extremely strong and can seriously injure you—no matter how humanlike they appear. (Remember the incident in which a chimp brutally attacked its owners friend earlier this year?) They can also transmit dangerous diseases that affect humans, like monkey pox and tuberculosis.

Skunks
Believe it or not, theyve been domesticated in some cases, but theyre truly wild animals and can carry rabies. Experts agree: Skunks (and squirrels and chipmunks) simply shouldnt be kept as pets.
Susannah Felts
Last Updated: April 06, 2009

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