Considering a Marsupial as a
The Marsupial Society actively encourages the
keeping and breeding of Marsupials in captivity
but generally NOT
as pets in the true sense of the word.
What is a pet? If you
consider a pet to be an animal that comes when
it is called; that you can hold and pet; that
you can train to do tricks; that you can share
your home with and leave with neighbours or
friends when you go away, then you should think
very carefully before considering a marsupial.
In general Marsupials do not make good pets.
In most cases the suburban
backyard is not the right place for these
animals. For the larger marsupials
in particular, a backyard
is not big enough or secure enough, and for the
smaller ones the danger of disease from domestic
cats and other animals is unacceptable. They also need
your personal constant
attention, so if you like the annual holiday,
life suddenly becomes a little problematic – at least for the lifetime of the
Most, if not all, of the
marsupials that are commonly kept in captivity
will not readily settle into a human
household. They will become either destructive
or smelly or both. They do not house
train easily (if at all) and most will scent mark their
territories, which makes for keeping them
indoors a little difficult. Likewise most are
nocturnal, so they will be active at night whilst
you are asleep.
Marsupial are not
domesticated, but wild animals, and will
remain that way. In captivity they
will often become tame
but on occasions where
individuals do not tame very well they can be
dangerous. In our lifetime, it is unlikely
that any marsupial will ever fall into the
category of the domesticated animal.
If you would really like to keep
these creatures then much thought needs to go
into where you are going to keep them and how
you are going to look after them before you get
started. To that end, as mentioned
at the head of this article, The
Marsupial Society will help and encourage you to
care for your choice of animal in the best way
possible. We are happy to help
out if we can - just
email us and
ask about whatever bothers you. We
will do our best to help.
But remember, they will never
become a pet in the strictest sense of the word.
If you want a pet, or companion animal, buy a
cat or a dog or if you are looking for something
a little unusual try a stick insect.