It is extremely important to know what you are getting yourself into when bringing an animal into your home. Research is the name of the game.
I recently acquired several species for my new animal related venture. Every animal I now house is one I have worked with extensively in the past. However, I still researched each animals' needs prior to acquiring them. I had to be sure I would be able to care for them for the rest of their lives. And I intend for them to live long and enriched lives.
I spent months speaking with associates in zoos, animal outreach facilities, and even breeders to determine appropriate enclosure size, diets, supplements, lighting, and veterinary care. I also had to keep in mind the temperament of the species. I will not bring an animal out to programs if the animal will find it overly stressful. For example, I came across some invasive chameleons here in Orange County (I will do another blog in the future about invasive species), and I thought about bringing one on to my programs as I don't think they will survive the winter. However, after discussing with colleagues, I decided against acquiring one. The stress of handling and being closely observed would be too much for the animal.
I am also a big proponent of something called Behavioral Enrichment. Enrichment is more than just toys or treats for the animal. It is a way to stimulate natural behaviors, provide exercise, and give the animal a sense of control over its environment.
When acquiring a new animal, for any reason, it is important to do your research. Know what your are getting yourself into. What you can handle. What is legal. And what is KIND. Not everything can, or should, be a pet.