At Josh’s Frogs, we made the decision long ago to only sell healthy, captive-bred animals. This might seem like an easy choice, but it does put us at a serious competitive disadvantage to those online pet stores that sell wild caught animals. Wild caught animals are cheaper, more easily available, and the seller does not have to go through the trouble of breeding their own stock – it’s a simple as ordering some more when you’re out. This greatly reduces overhead costs, and allows for a greater profit. Josh and I (Zach) knew this, but we decided that was not the direction for us – even if it cut into the bottom line. Curious as to why a growing small business would seemingly act against it’s own best interest? Because we’re more concerned with the best interests of our animals and our customers, and feel there are better ways to provide the beautiful animals we work with to the public. Read on!
By selling only captive-bred animals, Josh’s Frogs is not harming wild populations of the animals we love. By purchasing captive-bred animals, you are not harming wild populations of the animals you love. Bam! A very simple set of statements, yet very powerful nonetheless. Every animal removed from the wild is one less animal that could contribute to wild populations. With many wild populations of amphibians on the decline, additional pressure from the pet trade is certainly not something that’s needed. By breeding animals here, we’re filling the demand for amphibians that could otherwise be filled with wild caught animals, and reducing the demand for those wild caught animals. Less demand for wild caught animals = fewer wild caught animals coming into the country. That’s a win for wild amphibian populations, and a win for our customers.
Captive-Bred animals are healthier animals. A captive-bred animal is already adapted to life in a vivarium or terrarium, and does not undergo the stress that wild caught animals do as they are acclimated. This stress often causes other health problems, such as malnutrition, bacterial or fungal infections, or parasite infestations (all very common in wild caught animals, and much less common in captive-bred animals) to snowball, leading to one very unhappy and unhealthy animal. The majority of wild caught amphibians perish very quickly (and needlessly) after capture. The trip from the wild to terrarium is often a long one – animals are often captured by locals, acquired by local dealers, then other dealers, and finally to the exporter. Then, they travel across the world, are received by an importer, then often change hands 2-3 times before finally ending up at their permanent place of residence. It’s unrealistic to think that the wild caught animals receive proper care during the whole journey, which can take weeks. Captive bred animals are less stressed in captivity, and have fewer issues with malnutrition, infections, or parasites. In short, captive-bred animals tend to be healthier animals.
Captive-Bred animals make better pets than wild caught animals. With fewer health problems than wild caught animals, captive-bred amphibians make better pets. Being that they were bred in captivity, it’s easy to find out exactly how old the animal you are purchasing is – no need to be concerned about receiving a wild caught animal that is already nearing the end of it’s natural life. Captive bred animals are already adapted to life in a terrarium, and experience much less stress during transport and while acclimating to their new home. In general, captive-bred animals are easier to care for, and much easier to be successful with, than wild caught animals.
So, why even think about purchasing wild caught animals? Don’t do it! While wild caught animals are occasionally needed to found new captive breeding populations, there is simply no need for the vast majority of wild caught animals to ever be imported to the USA for the pet trade. Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution – buy captive-bred!