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Louis Theroux: America's Most Dangerous Pets (2011)

In America's heartlands, Louis looks at private collections of tigers and chimpanzees.

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In America's heartlands, Louis looks at private collections of tigers and chimpanzees.

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bear | chimpanzee | tiger | See All (3) »

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30 October 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Louis Theroux: Beware of the Tiger  »

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'On safari in the suburbs...and with perhaps his craziest guests yet.
15 July 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Louis Theroux has made a career out of making documentaries featuring some of the weirdest, most dangerous and craziest people on Earth. Among his many TV films, I cannot recall one with as many crazy or stupid folks as you'll see in "America's Most Dangerous Pets". These folks make the Phelps family seem downright sane by comparison! And, like the awful Phelps clan, these folks seem quite proud of themselves and don't see themselves as strange in the least and seem to welcome their time on camera in almost every case.

Louis visits with some small private zoos as well as collectors who see these exotic and potentially dangerous animals as fun and a necessary part of their lives. A few of these people seem well meaning and almost somewhat professional--and help rescue animals bought by private individuals but which they cannot care for when the animals get larger and more unmanageable. A few of these folks are just nuts and seem ill-equipped emotionally or physically to have the animals (the guy who trusts no one is a great example and another is the lady who pierces her monkey's ears). You'll see Louis holding some of these animals (he's obviously nervous about this), the owners heavily anthropomorphize them (treating them more like people in some cases than pets or wild animals), a chimp become so unruly that Louis cuts the interview short, a breeder with some unwieldy apes and one owner appear to mistreat his bobcat. It's all very crazy and sad to watch--and makes you worry about the many people with such pets across the country.

All in all, this is informative and interesting. Sadly, there probably isn't a lot of good that will come of all this. While I am not 100% against private ownership of animals, tougher standards seem reasonable but are not likely to occur any time soon.

By the way, if you care, each state in the US has different laws and standards for animal ownership. Some are very liberal about it and a small number don't allow this at all.


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