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All About Captive Wildlife

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Published on: Aug. 2, 2006

Last revision: Nov. 29, 2010

As far as you can go back in history, people have been fascinated with wild and exotic animals. Ancient civilizations, including the Romans, kept exotic animals as a sign of wealth and power. The captive wildlife and alternative livestock industries have seen unprecedented growth in the past few decades. Populations of farmed elk, deer, bison and other species have boomed across the country.

Wildlife for sale

In Missouri, organized captive wildlife sales formally began in Cape Girardeau around 1974 when Dave Hale held the Five–H Sales. In northern Missouri, the sale of exotic and captive wildlife was introduced in 1978 when Frank Lolli and his four sons began selling llamas, small caged animals, chickens, goats, muntjack deer and small furbearers at their livestock barn in Macon. Lolli Brothers has since become a leader in the industry.

In 1980, Lolli Brothers began selling white-tailed deer and elk. Over the years, their sales have expanded to include a variety of exotic animals. In an interview with Jim Lolli, he spoke of the many different species that have been auctioned over the years. Some were quite unique. Russian antelope, pygmy hippos, Congo buffaloes, parrots, all types of monkeys, and 30 to 40 different types of peacock have been offered for sale over the years.

White-tailed deer and elk have been a constant offering, but Lolli has seen a decline in these sales due to new restrictions and the threat of chronic wasting disease. He feels that the sales of deer and elk will pick back up, however, as deer breeders continue to monitor their herds for disease. Species such as camels and zebras have continued to hold their value at these sales.

Permit before purchase

Over the years, many people have gone to an auction at Lolli’s, viewed the captive wildlife offered for sale and then decided to purchase some type of animal. Often, people don’t consider that these cute little animals grow up to be big animals and can sometimes become a handful. Nor do they consider the high cost of care and confinement.

The Department of Conservation regulates the possession and confinement of species considered native to Missouri. Regulations help ensure animals are properly cared for and that owners understand the commitment needed to keep wildlife in confinement. For certain species holding facilities must be approved before animals may be purchased. For several of these animals, certain cage size standards must be met. One of the most important things

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