Is it possible to keep Fossa as a pet? Well, even though Fossa has an appearance similar to the feline, they are in no way associated with cats. The Fossa is a wild and demanding animal, undoubtedly one of the most terrible creatures to have a pet.
Not many individuals even knew about its existence before the release of the animation movie Madagascar.
However, after watching the movie, people worldwide craved having Fossa as a pet. But little did they know how dangerous it can prove to keep a Fossa in Captivity. Come, let’s shed some more light on it.
What is a Fossa? Introduction
A Fossa is a carnivorous mammal and the largest mammalian carnivore on Madagascar. At first glance, it may look similar to any small wild cat, though, in reality, it is far apart. Even though it has some minor similarities with felines, Fossa is more related to mongoose and civet.
A fossa is terrestrial and arboreal and generally more active during night hours. They are endemic to Madagascar, and not even many Zoos across the world would have them in captivity.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species marks Fossa as a vulnerable species, and thus there are multiple regulations regarding them. The biggest threat to their dropping numbers is habitat loss and the fady taboos of Malagasy people.
History of Fossa
According to scientists, Fossa is descended from Mongoose-like ancestors who, about 24 million years ago, came from Africa to Madagascar.
As per research, Fossa is one of the oldest and most ancient of all the unique species found on Madagascar Island.
Fossa Species Overview and Taxonomy
|Scientific Names||Cryptoprocta ferox|
|Order and Suborder||Carnivora and Feliformia|
|Size||Length: 73 cm (Adult) Mass: 9.5 kg (Adult)|
|Life Span||Up to 20 years in captivity, |
Whereas their wild lifespan is unknown
Do Fossa Makes Good Pet?
A Fossa’s wild and destructive behavior does not make this animal a good pet. There are several Fossa animals raised in captivity; however, under specialized breeding programs by certified breeders and animal experts only.
For someone who is not well versed with exotic animals might experience a dangerous time with Fossa. They are so demanding that most individuals will not be able to take proper care of them.
Is It Legal to Keep Fossa as a Pet?
Keeping a Fossa as a pet is illegal in most parts of the world. Since these animals are listed as endangered and vulnerable by IUCN, keeping them as pets can lend you great legal trouble.
Even Zoos need multiple permits and licenses for transporting a single Fossa from one place to another.
Restricting on possessing, importing, exporting, or involvement in any Fossa activities differ from State to City, Counties, and Country.
Is Fossa legal in the U.S.?
A fossa is incredibly rare; thus, they are illegal in most parts of the United States. It is less likely to find them as pets with individuals or even in legal captivities. Even not until 1974, they were part of any Zoos.
Later, when the San Diego Zoo started breeding them, a few Zoos across the United States started keeping Fossa in captivity.
A small number of Fossa can be found in the USA with private owners. The sight is possible in only those U.S. States with no restrictions on keeping exotic pets.
However, the scene is still extremely rare, and you won’t find cases like these in more than 30 to 35. In 2001 about 35 Fossa were exported for the pet trade in America; however, if they were captive breeds or wild-caught is still unknown.
Can you have Fossa as a pet?
Well, there are least possibilities that ay government will even allow keeping a pet Fossa. Since it is illegal in most parts of the world, you can’t actually have them at home. Even if you are a wildlife expert or a pet breeder, chances are less that you can gain a permit to keep Fossa as a pet.
Also, Fossa (s) are not found anywhere outside Madagascar. And exporting them outside their natural habitat is extremely risky, dangerous, and a task nearly impossible. All of these facts make it highly difficult for individuals to have Fossa as pets.
Besides that, it is extremely tricky to find specialized Vets for Fossa. Anyone who is willing to and is able is a rare combination.
And since Fossa aren’t related to any other species, you can’t just rely on any vet or exotic vet for their treatment. Vets for them are difficult even in Zoo facilities. This is another fact that discourages keeping Fossa as pets.
Fossa (s)- You have to meet their needs
Fossa Housing Needs
A fossa is native to Madagascar, and their habitat is closely associated with undisturbed rainforests, usually at low densities.
Though it isn’t legal to domesticate them as pets, you might find them in a few Zoos or breeding places.
Housing enclosures for Fossa should be extremely secure. It has to be either a huge cage or 1/4th to ½ acre space, closed from all sides.
Besides that, their enclosure must include a den for hiding and sleeping, a small pond, and ropes and branches for physical activities.
Fossa Temperature and Humidity Needs
Fossa needs a subtropical climate to survive in their best comfort. The average temperature can range between 23°C and 27°C with humidity above 60% (constantly).
Fossa Dietary Needs
Fossa (s) are big-time hunters, and they spend most of their time searching for prey in the wild.
Lemurs are their main source of food in Madagascar, small- to medium-sized animals from fish to birds, mice, and wild pigs.
However, in captivity or breeding, they need an extremely well-balanced diet. Providing them with the right amount of meat and allowing them to hunt occasionally is a must.
Bowl feeding a Fossa, just like dogs and cats, can play with their mental and physical health. Since these animals are wild, it is important for them to hunt often.
Fossa (s) in captivity also suffer from problems like malnutrition.
Fossa Cleaning Needs
Like other dangerous wild animals (lion, tiger, cheetah, lemur), humans can’t help Fossa with cleaning.
Instead, these animals will lick and clean themselves to maintain grooming and hygiene needs.
Common health problems with Fossa
Since very few Fossa (s) have been kept in captivity or breeding facilities, not much about their health problems are known.
It would take more research on them to learn about their classification and health complications.
How much does a Fossa Cost?
Estimating the cost of a Fossa is tricky since none of them are on sale. Individuals who own them as pets have either dealt with traffickers or illegal pet sellers.
Or, individuals residing around Madagascar might have caught them from the wild. However, any of these activities are strictly illegal and can lead to trouble.
There though, are no Fossa (s) for sale, but if any day they are, the prices will definitely be high. It is since these are some of the rarest animals, you can’t expect them to come down so easily.
Where to buy a Fossa?
Where to find a Fossa Breeder? Breeding Fossa in captivity is extremely difficult; thus, it is rare that you may find them anywhere so easily. Even in the United States, there is only one certified Fossa breeder.
However, he breeds the species only for Zoos and research. Normal individuals can’t even reach the breeder, let alone buy the animal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many Fossa (s) are left in Madagascar?
Fossa (s) are vulnerable, and there are no more than 2500 of them left in Madagascar.
How fast can a Fossa run?
Like wild cats, Fossa is a fast runner and can speed up to 35 miles per hour.
How many babies does a fossa have?
Female Fossa mates with multiple males, though they give birth to no more than 2 to 3 cubs in one go.
Why do humans in Madagascar hunt fossa?
A fossa is a hefty meat source for the people of Madagascar. It is an important part of their diet and is relished with rice. The poverty scenes in Madagascar led to the growing hunting of Fossa.
Is Fossa important to the ecosystem of Madagascar?
Yes, since Fossa is the only predator able to kill the largest lemur species, they are important to the ecosystem of Madagascar.
Keeping Fossa in captivity can bring numerous benefits for researchers; however, these animals are still banned for the same.
Especially when it comes to domestication, no government allows or releases any permit for Fossa.
Also, Fossa likely makes poor pets compared to other more popular exotic carnivores; thus, their domestication is less likely.