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Most Americans may not realize it, but already we are trapped—surrounded by an ever present danger that threatens our health, our lives, and even the very environment in which we live. This danger comes in the form of a creature more perilous than any other to have walked the earth before it.

It can take as much as $150,000 or more to raise just one of them. Many caretakers are ill equipped to handle such a creature, resulting in the deaths of around 2,000 of them every year in the United States alone due to abuse or neglect. In 2002, a little over 800,000 of these creatures were determined to have been abused or neglected in the United States by their caretakers.

Training is a vital part of raising this creature, yet many caretakers implement little or no training. In the juvenile stages, these creatures are capable of destructive and erratic behavior, and behavior that is dangerous both to themselves and to those around them. This can carry over into adolescence and even adulthood despite proper training. When maturing, many have been known to “turn” on their caretakers. The vast majority of those raised in captivity will have escaped from their caretakers by the time they reach adulthood.

On the loose, the destructive habits of these creatures costs taxpayers, local businesses, and local governments millions of dollars every year. The environment has suffered even more—over the past ten years alone, over half of the world's wetlands and original forests have been destroyed as a result of intrusion by this creature. Even the ocean biomes are left vulnerable. This creature has been both directly and indirectly responsible for the destruction of 11% of the world’s coral reefs. The loss of native plants and animals is just as staggering. Since 1600, an estimated 50 species of mammals and 125 species of birds have become extinct, and today, around 20,000 different species of plants and animals are facing extinction—all almost entirely because of the destructive and intrusive nature of these creatures.

Humans have been paying a price as well. This creature is known for its potentially aggressive and often unpredictable behavior. Every year in the United States, approximately 6.9 out of every 100,000 Americans are attacked and killed by these creatures. In addition to this, there are a host of diseases capable of being carried by this creature, many of which are contagious to humans. Influenza is one such disease, which afflicts 10 to 20 percent of the American population per year and is responsible for the deaths of approximately 36,000 Americans per year.

You may think zoos or specialized personnel would be the only ones capable of legally possessing a creature this dangerous and hard to care for, yet this is not true. As many as 4 million of these creatures are born in the United States every year--most under the care of private “owners.” A startling 17% of these owners are under the age of 20! It is all completely legal.

By now you may be wondering, what can be done to prevent people from getting a hold of such a creature? What can be done to stop this startling trend and protect human lives and the environment? The answer is simple: ban Homo sapiens.

Many thanks to Pam Thompson for allowing the use of this article on ExoticCatz.com.com. This article is copyrighted 2005 by Pam Thompson. All rights are reserved.