18 Cute Wild Animals You Should Never Try to Domesticate

With millions of incredible animal species all over the world, it’s no surprise that there are some adorable creatures out there. However, as cute as they may be, sadly, not all of them make great pets. This list reveals 18 cute wild animals you should never try to domesticate.

Slow Loris

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The slow loris is an adorable little mammal with huge, distinctive eyes and a fuzzy coat. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, they use venom powerful enough to kill a human in severe cases. They are also endangered, very sensitive to stress, and often captured in unethical ways, so you should never try to take one home with you.

Red Panda

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A lot of people love red pandas for their cute appearance, beautiful and striking markings, and charming personalities. But these little mammals are critically endangered and have many complex needs that would be too difficult for most people to adequately cater to, making their domestication unethical and impractical.


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Chimpanzees are known for being one of our closest relatives, so you’d be forgiven for thinking they should get along great with us humans. However, they are still wild at heart and can easily become unpredictable and aggressive as they grow older. They are also wired to be part of a complex social structure that cannot be replicated in a human home.


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Capybaras have become incredibly popular in recent years, and it’s no wonder why. These beautiful creatures are famously calm, sociable, and friendly towards other species. However, this doesn’t mean they’d make good pets. They thrive in groups with other capybaras and have complex dietary and care needs, making them unsuitable for domestic settings.

Sugar Glider

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Sugar gliders are small and cute and have an impressive ability to glide through the air thanks to the membrane between their fingers and ankles. While people have started attempting to keep them as pets, this is rarely a good idea. They can easily become depressed and lonely when separated from their social groups and natural environment.


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Raccoons are adorable, intelligent creatures with beautiful markings. However, they can be very destructive and independent, making them difficult to care for. Sadly, these little guys are also prone to diseases that can be spread to humans and other pets. As such, it’s better to let them stay in the wild where they belong.


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Foxes are beautiful little canines with iconic red and white markings. While there are some cases where they have been tamed, this doesn’t mean they make good pets. They have very specific dietary and environmental needs that are very hard to cater to, which is part of the reason why they’re banned as pets in many countries.


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Coyotes will almost always choose to flee from humans, which is a pretty good indication that they want nothing to do with us. While they do resemble our favorite canine companions, as wild animals, they can be much more dangerous and unpredictable. They are also susceptible to diseases that can be transmitted to humans and other animals.


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National Geographic reports that elephants are the world’s largest land mammal, but many people still find them to be absolutely adorable. However, as highly intelligent creatures with complex social, emotional, and environmental needs, they are definitely not suitable as pets. Their enormous size would also make them impractical to care for in most settings.


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You may be surprised that skunks are actually legal to own in many states. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Skunks are famous for their natural stinky defense mechanism, which smells a little like rotten eggs. While they can be de-scented, many people consider this to be cruel and unnecessary.


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Axolotls are cute and distinctive little creatures that many people are interested in owning as pets. However, they’re also critically endangered and require a highly specialized aquatic environment to live in, making their domestication difficult and morally questionable. Furthermore, they’re susceptible to health issues when their needs aren’t properly met.


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Mongooses may be cute, but they’re also brave, unpredictable, and feisty animals that can be surprisingly aggressive and strong. This is why it’s almost always a bad idea to try domesticating them. If that wasn’t enough, they’re also very high maintenance and prone to diseases such as rabies.

Serval Cat

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Serval cats are visually stunning and may remind us of our favorite domestic felines. However, they’re wild by nature, have strong hunting instincts, and can be unpredictable and aggressive. They also have a need for a substantial amount of space and other needs that can be very difficult to cater to.


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While hippos aren’t usually known for being the cutest creatures, some people are drawn to their iconic rounded appearance, especially as babies. However, as adults, these animals are one of the most dangerous animals in the world: Discover Wildlife says they are responsible for more human deaths than any other mammal in the world.


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Many people love tigers for their majestic presence, beautiful appearance, and incredible and distinctive markings. However, we shouldn’t allow their charm to make us forget that they are extremely powerful wild predators that can be very dangerous to humans. Their needs are also very difficult to meet in domestic settings.  


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Hedgehogs are small, cute, and docile, so it’s easy to see why so many people are interested in having them as pets. However, they also have specific dietary and environmental needs that can be very hard to meet. Furthermore, as noted by the CDC, they’re known to carry salmonella, making them a health risk to humans.

Prairie Dog

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Prairie dogs are charming little animals that many people love. However, their social groups play a huge role in their lives and happiness, making it unethical to remove them from the wild and keep them as pets. They also need plenty of space to run and burrow, which is hard to accommodate in most domestic settings.


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While you may think that lemurs are cute, small, and could make for a great pet, they have complex dietary, environmental, and social needs that are near-impossible for most people to adequately cater to. They’re also designed to thrive in a tropical climate, so it’s dangerous to keep them in other parts of the world.

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