Madison Area Herpetological Society

Captive Reptile Myths: Science Vs. Sensationalism

Captive Reptile Myths:
Science vs. Sensationalism
By Eric Roscoe


Reptiles and amphibians (collectively known as herps) are among the fastest growing segments of the pet industry, with new developments and advances taking place in all realms of their care and husbandry each year. According to the APPA’s (American Pet Products Association) 2015-2016 National Pet Owner’s Survey for example, there are now at least 4.9 million or more households that own one or more reptiles, and well over 9.3 million or more reptiles in the U.S. Despite this, there remains widespread and oftentimes irrational fears, and even double standards when it comes to society’s perceptions of these animals both in the wild and when kept in captivity. Further complicating and exacerbating the problem are anti pet organizations that deliberately spread and perpetuate many of these myths and misinformation (they do not even want society to keep cats, dogs, hamsters, or goldfish). This document intends to set the record straight by conveying the truth about these animals that those who maintain them.

*Article under revision.