Dangerous animals in captivity??

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Meg90

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Yup. Resident Fire Starter here. Can't RESIST this topic.

So---snapping turtles. Or, I guess, specifically, Alligator snappers. Dangerous animal that should be left in the wild? Or acceptable pet?

Personally, I have no qualms about keeping them in captivity. When cared for correctly, they live long, healthy lives. And I'm sure their behaviors are a joy to observe, just like any other species of turtle, or reptile.

Just because their bite is more powerful than say, a musk turtle, why should that fact alone deem them unkeepable as pets?

And along this trail of thought--what about keeping venomous snakes? Or large constrictors? Or poisonous insects? Gila monsters? Monitor lizards? All of these have the capacity to do serious harm. Even a docile Argentine Black and White tegu can do major damage if the situation were right.

Should one biological characteristic deem these animals unworthy of private collections?

Should we all stick to sweet little Russians and Stinkpots and leave the "wild" animals, in the wild?

To have that sort of view IMO is completely hypocritical. Are not all species of reptile innately wild? Isn't it true that all species of tortoise and turtle thrive best in an outdoor, naturalistic enclosure away from extensive human contact? Does a less volatile nature make our reptilian pets ANY less wild? One of my tortoises is a wild caught, long term captive. He was never "tamed" by any sense. His docile nature is the same that he would have exhibited in his native country of Jordan.

But does that make him domesticated?

Any less wild than an adult, ornery Alligator snapper?

Just because biting to defend himself isn't in his nature??

I'm all for keeping any species of reptile---if they are cared for correctly, WHY not?
 

t_mclellan

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Darn you Meg!
I really felt like arguing this morning! But I can not argue with you on this one.
But I can add my own thoughts & opinions.
Over the years I have been involved with many different Species, Sub. Sp., Types, Kinds however you want so say it, ANIMALS. (not ALL, but many kinds)
They are all different & at the same time they are all similar.
All animals think, Act, Process information & react to things as there instinct & in some cases, Experience dictates.
My point is that a dog for instance is not going to think & process information in the same manner or with the same results as an Alligator.
No matter how much a human wants to think their pet or the wild raccoon that raids the trash can has the same type of thoughts & emotions as a human, It just isn't so!

I agree that ANY animal can be kept safely & responsibly.
To do this one requires dedication & the willingness to learn as much as possible about the animal.

Understand what the capabilities of the animal are & the consequences of a mistake.

Too few people respect their animals for WHAT they are. Instead many try to respect an animal for WHO they are.
I hate to rain on your parade but Billybob, your water monitor is NOT your "Bosom buddy & life long PAL"!
I have never seen an unprovoked animal attack. They can all be linked to Dominance, Fear or food. A territorial attack is still a dominance thing.
If an animal thinks something is a threat, They will do something to (as dictated by instinct or experience) to protect themselves.
If an animal thinks something is food they will try to eat it.
Many of the animals we keep test our dominance every day in very obvious & sometimes not so obvious ways. But they are always trying to be the BOSS.
Other animals just plane DON'T CARE! That is because their instincts tell them "Nothing is the boss of me".

I think it all boils down to "RESPECT"!
A person must respect the animals in their care for what they are & treat them accordingly.
Just because a person thinks its nice to keep an animal a certain way dose not mean what they do is beneficial or even healthy for the animal.

Respect, Its a simple thing!
When we respect a person, animal or thing & treat them with respect (in all things),
There are very few problems. (This dose not always work with HUMANs).


These are my opinions & they are not necessarily the thoughts or feelings of the original poster or the forum. They may also be a pile of TORTOISE POOP! What do I know.
 

-ryan-

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You raise a few interesting points. For one, the animals we keep our not domesticated in the scientific sense, because that involves generations of breeding for 'tame' characteristics or other characteristics that we can benefit from (and lets ignore the financial benefits of morphs in this case).

In my opinion anyone should be allowed to keep the animals they wish to keep. However, there should be strict licensing for any animal that is large, dangerous, not easily cared for, etc. etc. I also feel that, if this were the case, the owner would need to be observed and their enclosures would need semi-annual checks by professionals, just to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals. Most importantly, it weeds out the idiots.

However, unfortunately the animals just end up being banned. It is illegal in the state of New York to own any monitor larger than a sav, any constrictor that has the potential to grow longer than 15', and any venomous reptiles. Now, do I really care about that in a personal sense? No, because I don't keep any of those animals, nor do I intend to. But I do know many people that do keep and breed those animals, that do a great job working with them, and I don't feel their rights should be taken away because of the actions of some idiots.

Meg90 said:
Yup. Resident Fire Starter here. Can't RESIST this topic.

So---snapping turtles. Or, I guess, specifically, Alligator snappers. Dangerous animal that should be left in the wild? Or acceptable pet?

Personally, I have no qualms about keeping them in captivity. When cared for correctly, they live long, healthy lives. And I'm sure their behaviors are a joy to observe, just like any other species of turtle, or reptile.

Just because their bite is more powerful than say, a musk turtle, why should that fact alone deem them unkeepable as pets?

And along this trail of thought--what about keeping venomous snakes? Or large constrictors? Or poisonous insects? Gila monsters? Monitor lizards? All of these have the capacity to do serious harm. Even a docile Argentine Black and White tegu can do major damage if the situation were right.

Should one biological characteristic deem these animals unworthy of private collections?

Should we all stick to sweet little Russians and Stinkpots and leave the "wild" animals, in the wild?

To have that sort of view IMO is completely hypocritical. Are not all species of reptile innately wild? Isn't it true that all species of tortoise and turtle thrive best in an outdoor, naturalistic enclosure away from extensive human contact? Does a less volatile nature make our reptilian pets ANY less wild? One of my tortoises is a wild caught, long term captive. He was never "tamed" by any sense. His docile nature is the same that he would have exhibited in his native country of Jordan.

But does that make him domesticated?

Any less wild than an adult, ornery Alligator snapper?

Just because biting to defend himself isn't in his nature??

I'm all for keeping any species of reptile---if they are cared for correctly, WHY not?
 

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I agree. Personally, it would be better if ALL wild animals could stay wild... But that isn't the case, so it is our responsibility to give them the best lives possible.

There are animals that I would personally not choose to have as pets, including venomous snakes and large constrictors, alligators, etc. I however don't think that such things should be illegal, just that people should be required to act responsibly. I got into a big debate on another forum some months ago over a terrible tragedy where a Burmese python killed a 2 year old child. People were outraged, saying that the parents acted irresponsibly by keeping such a large snake in a house with a child. WRONG. The parents acted irresponsibly because A) they did not have the required permit to own the snake and B) the snake was kept in a tank that's lid consisted of a quilt tied on with a piece of rope. I mean COME ON. I know plenty of people that keep large snakes and are extremely safe with them. They are in locked enclosures, and never removed from the enclosure if there are less than two people present. They always have "spotters" in case the snake decides to start squeezing, etc. Same with venomous snakes - the local hospital and police department has been alerted to what kind of venomous snakes they have, and there are specific safety protocols in place, again for instance never feeding/handling the snakes solo.

Because of the situation in Florida, where Burmese pythons and other large snakes are establishing feral colonies, people across the U.S. are trying to take away our rights as pet owners. It is so misinformed. I live in Northern Michigan... Burmese pythons are NOT going to establish a feral colony here, where the winters are well below freezing. When I mention to people that I have a Ball Python, they say, "Those things are growing big enough down in Florida that they are eating gators!" NOT Ball Pythons! Balls are lucky to reach 6 feet! The general public is clueless.

Once when I took our snake Morrigan to school for my daughter's show and tell, a woman stood next next to me right in front of the Principle and said that a 12' BALL PYTHON bit her friends thumb off. She argued with me and got very angry and quite rude when I tried to tell her that Balls don't grow that large or have that kind of bite power. Thanks for freaking the Principle out over nothing, you ignoramus. **headdesk**

I think that if there is a problem in a certain area, such as Southern Florida, THAT is where restrictions should take place, not just all over the entire freaking U.S., just because! Actually, I think there is a very simple solution - microchipping. Any large boids, etc coming into the state of Florida, owned in Florida or offered for sale in Florida must be microchipped, and anyone that purchases said animal has to register that animal right where it is purchased from (breeder, store, etc.) If an animal is found set loose or escaped, scanned and the microchip comes up registered to you, you GO TO JAIL. Do not pass Go, do not collect, lol.

I would have supported HR669 if it had been INTELLIGENTLY written. To ban all non native species is plain dumb.

Reptiles NEVER WILL be truly domesticated, in my opinion. It isn't in their nature (except for maybe Desert torts and Bearded Dragons, lol.) They are solitary, and they do not have that affectionate pack mentality of dogs or even the hierarchy of a colony of cats.

Kristina
 

Tom

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Meg, t-mclellan, Kyryah and Ryan, very well put.

To Tortuga-terrestre from Rhyno's post: I'm not mad, I'm just trying to get you and others to think about what they feel and say. As I said, those "feelings" are the reason why we have so much irrational, non-sensicle, wrong-headed legislation.

If you served in the military, then you have my utmost thanks and respect. My hat is off and my head is bowed to you.

To answer your incorrect statement, no, I do not think that tigers or any other wild animals can be "domesticated". Of all the people on the forum, I ought to know this. I work with big cats regularly and have raised several. I'm also pretty sure that "eating a rat" isn't your criteria for banning a species of animal, is it? Just think for a minute what that would include: Dogs, cats, cornsnakes, large frogs, redfoot tortoises, large fish, tarantulas, etc... As far as the "second most powerful bite of any animal", I say hog wash! Sure they bite hard, but there are a whole lot of other animals that would be far worse. My dog would be far worse, for example. Also on this line of thought, you'd have to stick your hand IN its mouth to get bit. Neither species of snapper is going to lunge out of its pool, like a Nile Croc, and GET someone. So really, just how dangerous is a sedentary animal sitting at the bottom of its enclosed pool? If anything, a better case for banning them could be made for boring-ness.

BTW, I don't drink coffee of either kind. Maybe coffee beans should be left in the wild... that way they can't be ground in to coffee and people won't have the energy to be going out and catching wild animals and such... okay, I'm just funnin' now...
 

Stephanie Logan

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Hmmm.

My belief is that there are no bad dogs (or any animal), just bad owners.

However, the snake situation in Florida illustrates a problem that leads to "irrational" legislation. Who pays for the cost of rounding up all these huge snakes? Who pays for their upkeep/euthanization/release back into the (appropriate) wild? When the pet alligator lizard bites your neighbor while she's cleaning the cage, and the bite gets infected, and she doesn't have health insurance and needs $2000 worth of antibiotics, do you smilingly hand over the cash? When your child is bitten by someone's fight-trained, steely-jawed pit bull, who pays for the reconstructive surgery? While it would be nice if the parties who caused the problems were charged for the fix, that rarely happens in real life. Generally, the funds come from taxpayers. Proliferation of non-native species of plants and animals have racked up HUGE costs to American businesses and government entities are often expected to foot the bill for damage and repairs.

So it's another example of how "freedom isn't free". The irony is that the folks who want the freedom to own exotic animals are often the same ones adamantly opposed to expanding the budget for the Florida State Wildlife/Parks/animal control expenditures.

I wish people acted in a mature, responsible way with their pets. They don't. So how much shall we all ante up for other people's recklessness? It's a lot harder to legislate maturity than to just ban the importation or ownership of certain species. It's a conundrum.

http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/florida/science/art24101.html

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1909404,00.html
 

Rhyno47

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Savannah Monitors, Burmese Pythons, Crocodillians are all very dangerous and should not be kept by the average person. But everyone here has seen some of the setups people give to their animals. People can be responsible, and there are others who cant, which one are you?
 

Tom

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Stephanie Logan said:
My belief is that there are no bad dogs (or any animal), just bad owners.

Stephanie, I love you, but you are wrong about this one. I'm the guy that gets called for these really bad dog cases and sometimes it really is just a bad dog. Often the owner contributes, but sometimes dogs are just born bad. I've seen this in 6-8 week old pups and watched them grow up with a good, caring, competent owner with highly skilled, professional guidance. Certainly not the norm, but it happens much more than most people realize.

FYI, "fight trained pit bulls" exhibit zero man-aggression. If they are a real fighting pit-bull, then they just are not going to show aggression to a person. Hundreds of years of culling guarantee this. When you see pit-bull aggression toward people on the news, its almost always a mix or just not a pit-bull at all.

To answer your question for who pays for irresponsible peoples mistake, uhh... how about the irresponsible people? If I make a mistake, I should have to pay for it and take steps to correct it or make up for it. I think everyone else should too. Doesn't this seem rational and fair to you?
 

TylerStewart

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More people die each year falling into fishtanks in the US than by large snakes, monitors. More people die from horses, I'm sure. Certainly more people die in a year falling from a ladder. At some point, people have to be responsible for themselves. If you're looking to start a protest to ban something, go after ladders.

If guns were banned, people would just use a knife. Personally, I'd rather be shot than stabbed, but that's just me.
 

GBtortoises

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As Tyler said: "People have to be responsible for themselves".

That really is the bottom line, period. Something that in general, people in the U.S. at least, seem to be doing less and less of. Whether it be learning how to responsibly care for animals ("dangerous" or otherwise), making the right decisions or being responsible for their actions or the actions of minors in their care.

In my opinion, nowadays we have too many lawyers looking for clients to represent ridiculous lawsuits, too many people expecting hand-outs because they assume their social situation gives them the right too and far too many people worried that someone else may be offended if they tell the real truth, (i.e.-PC).

I was a cop for a short time, (four years), never had a gun pointed at me. But got swung at with a baseball bat, a few folding chairs and even hit with some flying dinner plates. So I vote we ban baseball bats, folding chairs and dinner plates! They can be dangerous!
 

t_mclellan

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FYI, "fight trained pit bulls" exhibit zero man-aggression. If they are a real fighting pit-bull, then they just are not going to show aggression to a person. Hundreds of years of culling guarantee this.

[/quote]

Tom;
I have said this almost verbatim so many times I cant remember!

GB;
I find the 2 most dangerous things are;
1) Ignorance
2) Stupidity


The world should BAN IGNORANCE!
But alas "You can't fix STUPID"!

"Folding chairs" I hate em too!
 

Stephanie Logan

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Tom said:
...sometimes it really is just a bad dog. Often the owner contributes, but sometimes dogs are just born bad. I've seen this in 6-8 week old pups and watched them grow up with a good, caring, competent owner with highly skilled, professional guidance. Certainly not the norm, but it happens much more than most people realize.

To answer your question for who pays for irresponsible peoples mistake, uhh... how about the irresponsible people? If I make a mistake, I should have to pay for it and take steps to correct it or make up for it. I think everyone else should too. Doesn't this seem rational and fair to you?

So should certain breeds of dog be banned because they are unpredictably aggressive? I really don't have a strong opinion one way or the other, so I meant that more as a premise because I see it so often when cities consider banning "dangerous" animals as pets.

I absolutely agree that the folks who are irresponsible should "pay" for the damage they cause, but who is responsible for the pythons in Florida and the Zebra mussels in our country's lakes? My point is just that sometimes a few irresponsible or careless people can initiate a chain of events that expands into a huge environmental or public health issue, and "fixing" it isn't just a simple matter of tracking down few miscreants and confiscating all their worldly goods to help pay for the damage. Maybe communities could create a "superfund" of sorts, wherein anyone buying a pet python would pay a fee into the python "round-up" fund to reduce government's costs of clean-up and remediation.

I think people who want to keep exotic animals should have to get a license to do so, and register their pets so that if one (say a tiger, or a chimpanzee) escapes and has to be retrieved by animal control, the owners can be held responsible for any damages or injuries. But what if several people decide to release their exotic lizards or birds or cockroaches (sorry, I couldn't resist ;) ) into their local pond and they end up reproducing to the point where locals can't use the pond anymore because their kids are getting bitten and the bites tend to get infected, etc...Again, the point is we can't always draw a distinct line from problem to cause, so in many (expensive) cases, the taxpayers foot the bill.

It's just worth thinking about before we all run out and buy alligator snappers.
 

reptylefreek

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I also believe people need to learn to respect the animal they decided to keep. I know alot of people who bought a certain "dangerous" animal for shock value alone. Later to find out the animal is smarter then they are and gets out of its cage or bites them or bites someone else and now, thats considered a "bad" animal. It makes me so mad when people aproach me or my family and tell us we are irresponsible for owning large snakes, "dangerous reptiles", or pitbulls. Just because someone is afriad they might get their arm ripped off from my burmese python because a friend told them that their cousin said that his best friends brother's kid's classmate said it could happen... is not a good reason to deem animals dangerous. And it's those people who ruin it for the rest of us who know what we're doing and know how to deal and react to the instinct of an animal. The pitbull story is really just getting out of hand. In my neighbor hood they are over bred and end up in the hands of people with lesser means and unfortunetly not cared for properly. So they become unsocialized and "mean". I feel so bad for these dogs because they are the sweetest most loving dogs I have ever owned. It really is unfornate you cant fix stupid...
 

moswen

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this is such a blanket topic... where to even begin... do you think that killer whale in texas or florida or wherever who just killed his third trainer is responsible for obeying his natural instincts, either to play and not realizing he was hurting, or to eat because it's the survival of the fittest in his world? i doubt that killer whale was housed badly, or his "owners" were irresponsible, or that he had inadequate housing, or whatever... i think he was just doing what his breed has done for thousands of years. and i personally don't think he or his owners are to blame.

i'm not at all saying that in my opinion keeping any animal in captivity is wrong, i'm just saying that even if you are a "responsible" or "informed" owner, you still have to be prepared to deal with the consequences that you are, in fact, keeping a wild animal, and that you can't always be prepared with adequate housing and proper husbandry to keep anything and everything from going wrong. if you'll excuse my expression, "s**t happens when you party naked."

i don't know if anyone heard, but about a year ago somewhere here in oklahoma, a labrador retriever puppy actually "ate" a 3 month old baby, while the baby's mother was asleep in another room in the house. now, a puppy, a lab, who was probably just playing around in the beginning, ended up actually ingesting human flesh and parts (how the mother slept through that is beyond me, but that's another topic).

in my own opinion, wether you choose to keep any animal at all is your own choice, and you'll never hear any complaint from me as long as that animal is healthy, has adequate housing, and is as happy as they can be with the means you are provided. but, i don't know how much of a back yard anyone can have that is really adequate for, say, a chimpanzee, or a tiger, or a bear, but those animals are siezed from 6' x 6' wire cages all the time from idiots all over the country.

the point i'm trying to make is that there are stupid people, and there are smart people, and there are informed people, and there are people just out to make a buck or shock some people, or make themselves look tougher, or people who really do love and can properly care for their animals, but seriously, you have got to wake up and smell the coffee... even though you do everything right, the animal is an ANIMAL. you can't be prepared for EVERYTHING. there are even crazy PEOPLE in the world that you can't be prepared for, much less an animal that is incapable of thinking and reasoning and communicating to the depth that humans are...

that being said, i think what you want to do or keep or accomplish in your lifetime is your business, as long as you're not hurting anyone or anything and you're working in the generalized direction of what can be considered "good" or "moral," you won't hear any complaints or judgements from me. i personally could never keep a crocodile in my back yard because i love my daughter so much more than the shock factor that i would see on people's faces when i tell them i have a crocodile, but that's just my own personal preference. i just don't think that even if you're informed or prepared, that you can fully and completely keep any animal and keep it 100% securely and safely with no chance of danger. now, i fully believe that you SHOULD research the pet that you are about to purchase and make sure that you can provide adequate space and housing and FOOD, but i just don't think that's going to keep you guaranteed 100% incident free.
 

Laura

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AS for the alligator snappers.. they cause damage when released where they are not native.. they are illegal to own due to this and the danger part is thrown in .. I think...
Ferrets are illegal in calif due to the 'what if' they escaped scare.. they would breed and kill all the native birds... and ruin the poultry industry.. HOWEVER... there are THOUSANDS here illegally, and many that get loose and are never found, they are Not hardy animals, and just done survive. So they should take the ban away and make them legal with a permit/license type thing..
Dangerous animals.. Like Lions and tigers.. there is a reason the rules are so strict, and it does prevent most people from owning them, however,, people are killed every year by thier pets, its the risk they were willing to take. and most of those places. Zoos included ARE inspected, but deaths still happen. Some laws are there to protect the stupid ignorant or naive people from them selves. The most dangerous Animal around!
There are bad dogs,, and very naive owners. Some should not own a dog at all. regardless of the breed and some just have NO CLUE how to raise one right. Pitbulls can be great dogs. they can also be a time bomb. They are different. They can be just fine, and wham.. Usually around the age of 2-3. if not before.
They were bred to fight. Some are better at that then others. If a fighter were to show ANY aggression towards a person it was killed. Taken out of the gene pool. You cant train it out of them, anymore then you can train a Pointer not to hunt. Its who and what they are. Some are just better then others. And with training, can be better at it.
Some states Require a owner of exotics carry Insurance to pay if something goes wrong. Its very $$$ making it impossible for most people to carry it. one way to again. weed out those who shouldnt have them. I dont know many pit bull owners or reg dogs owners for that matter.. that could afford plastic surgery costs for the victim.. that what Home owners insurance is for.. for good luck ever getting it again if you file a claim. Attorneys and lawyers.. thats thier job.. but not sure how you squeze money out of someone who just doenst have it. So if you cant afford to be responsible, then I guess you should own a postentailly deadly animal. Venoumous, etc...
-
 

Tom

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Stephanie Logan said:
Tom said:
...sometimes it really is just a bad dog. Often the owner contributes, but sometimes dogs are just born bad. I've seen this in 6-8 week old pups and watched them grow up with a good, caring, competent owner with highly skilled, professional guidance. Certainly not the norm, but it happens much more than most people realize.

To answer your question for who pays for irresponsible peoples mistake, uhh... how about the irresponsible people? If I make a mistake, I should have to pay for it and take steps to correct it or make up for it. I think everyone else should too. Doesn't this seem rational and fair to you?

So should certain breeds of dog be banned because they are unpredictably aggressive? I really don't have a strong opinion one way or the other, so I meant that more as a premise because I see it so often when cities consider banning "dangerous" animals as pets.

Its not certain breeds and the aggression is very predictable. Its individuals not whole breeds. I saw these numbers a few years ago... The number one dog for biting children in this country is Dalmation. Number two is Golden Retriever. Pit Bulls are down in the 20's despite the unjustified hysteria surrounding them. People usually counter this with " oh but the pit bulls bite is so much worse.... lockjaw... blah, blah, blah. This is completely and totally false. Their bite is no worse than any other dog their size. I've taken bites from 100's of dogs of just about every breed (most of them intentionally) and pitty's are way down the list in bite strength. Not even top ten.

I absolutely agree that the folks who are irresponsible should "pay" for the damage they cause, but who is responsible for the pythons in Florida and the Zebra mussels in our country's lakes? My point is just that sometimes a few irresponsible or careless people can initiate a chain of events that expands into a huge environmental or public health issue, and "fixing" it isn't just a simple matter of tracking down few miscreants and confiscating all their worldly goods to help pay for the damage. Maybe communities could create a "superfund" of sorts, wherein anyone buying a pet python would pay a fee into the python "round-up" fund to reduce government's costs of clean-up and remediation.

The "python problem in FL" is greatly exaggerated. I know nothing about the zebra mussel problem, but what does that have to do with a pet turtle? Now, feral pigs are a big problem. Should we ban pork?

I think people who want to keep exotic animals should have to get a license to do so, and register their pets so that if one (say a tiger, or a chimpanzee) escapes and has to be retrieved by animal control, the owners can be held responsible for any damages or injuries.

We ARE licensed and heavily regulated by a whole cadre of government agencies! We pay thousands in fees annually for the government granted privilege of keeping our porcupine and Beaver.

But what if several people decide to release their exotic lizards or birds or cockroaches (sorry, I couldn't resist ;) ) into their local pond and they end up reproducing to the point where locals can't use the pond anymore because their kids are getting bitten and the bites tend to get infected, etc...Again, the point is we can't always draw a distinct line from problem to cause, so in many (expensive) cases, the taxpayers foot the bill.

Exotic tropical species, will not survive outside the tropics, or tropical conditions, in most cases. If you want to make a case for restricting and or regulating certain invasive species in tropical Florida or Hawaii, I believe there is some legitimacy to your concerns.

It's just worth thinking about before we all run out and buy alligator snappers.

I don't want to go out buy an alligator snapper or a tiger. I just don't want the government, or anyone else, telling me that I can't under any circumstances.
 

dmmj

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One of my main concerns I guess, is what do we classify as a dangerous animal? I know of people who think all dogs should be banned because they once were bitten, others think they should be able to keep a pride of lions on their property.
 

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dmmj said:
One of my main concerns I guess, is what do we classify as a dangerous animal? I know of people who think all dogs should be banned because they once were bitten, others think they should be able to keep a pride of lions on their property.

That's the million dollar question! WHO gets to decide what WE get to do. Once we establish an agreed upon list of "dangerous" animals, how hard, or easy, will it be for corrupt or ignorant bureaucrats to simply started adding to it on a whim? I'd rather not have a list and just hold everyone accountable for their actions. You know, good old fashioned personal responsibility.

I know people with prides of lions on their property. They are trained people who know what they are doing, have proper caging and don't live in or near a neighborhood.

I just hate it when people try to control other people. Its called oppression and mankind has lived with it and fought against it since the dawn of time.
 

-ryan-

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I was just thinking about the incident in PA over the summer where the woman was killed by the black bear that she had raised for years. I remember it being summed up as just an anomaly, and there weren't too many fingers pointed at the woman (probably because she was the one that was killed). However, they made every mistake in the book. It was going to catch up to them eventually, and it's a shame it did. If you take a look at the pictures of their enclosures that they keep some of the other animals in (they also have big cats), they are like something out of a third world zoo. 15'x15' for an adult bear? Tossing food to one side of the enclosure to distract the bear while you come in and clean the rest of the enclosure? None of this is kosher, and it's what should be discouraged through legislation. The problem is that it is easier for lawmakers to just say "let's ban the animals". For the record, I don't think people should keep bears, tigers, etc. as pets, however if they are willing to provide them with good care I shouldn't have a right to take that away from them, and neither should lawmakers. It's always the idiots, as Tom and I have discussed before, that ruin the fun for everybody.

Edit: I can't find the overhead views of the property online anymore, so I don't know where to find pictures of their enclosures. But they were basically steel and concrete like the old zoos used to keep their animals (the zoo here still unfortunately has a couple of those style enclosures in use). I also heard that they had passed inspections and were permitted to keep the animals. I think that, based on the evidence surrounding the death, that is the biggest crime.
 

alfiethetortoise

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I find this thread interesting. In a previous thread about the Killer Whale incident Meg certainly seemed to be saying she didn't agree with keeping wild animals captive as it wasen't natural. While she typed this she is surronded by tortoises and geckos :p. Its funny how you changed you tune a bit :)

Well, i went to the zoo yesterday. There was a new sign by the lions saying 'these are catergory 1 animals' so i read the sign out of interest and catergory 1 animals included tigers, lions, rhinos, spectacled bears, and giraffes. Giraffes made me think because at our zoo you can hand feed them. Could a giraffe kill you? Probably. What about a bunch of lemurs? Or a donkey? Or a burmese python? All of which are also kept at the zoo. Anyway, the point i think is that any wild animal will do as it pleases at any given time. If you work with them, there should always be caution. Probably Tom knows more about this than me.

In certain cases wild animals are held for conservation reasons. Or because they cannot or are too ill to take care ofthemselves. Do we just let nature take it's course?

Personally, i like going to the zoo. Mostly animals are well cared for and restrained where needed. I have been to Beijing zoo and that was interesting. The animals were not in big enough enclosures in my opinnion- except the Panda's. Would i keep a dangerous wild animal? No. I dont trust dogs, i wouldnt trust a cat. If something happened to Ava, i would not forgive myself. I would never keep snakes, or gila monsters, or aligator snappers. But i would never tell anyone not to keep a wild animal because by having a tortoise i do so myself. As long as it is properly cared for, and you excersise caution, there shouldn't be a problem.
 
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