A Pet store PSA
Don’t put your hands in cages!
Dont put your hands in cages!
Dont let your kids put their hands in the cages!
This also applies to aquariums, and In one case I saved someone from losing a finger
Here’s how it happened:
It all started with this little guy
(In this picture he was pissed off because I gave him two mussels, but I gave the remaining ones to other fish)
Hes a porcupine puffer, a notoriously food oriented saltwater fish.
Our tanks have black wooden ‘flaps’ that the employees can lift up to get inside the tanks. This keeps customers from reaching into them, and also keeps jumping fish Inside the tanks.
Enter stage left- sorority girl and dudebro boyfriend.
I walk back to the tanks to ask if they need anything, and lo and behold, sorority girl had lifted up the flap and is starting to reach into the tank towards a puffer that is snapping at the glass and swimming back and forth so quickly that water is splashing out of the tank and onto the floor.
So naturally I yell “STOP, DONT TOUCH THAT” and she retracts her hand. And I quickly explain that puffers, and especially 12 inch basketball sized puffers have incredibly strong jaws and sharp teeth, and he can easily mangle, break, or eat a finger thinking it was food.
Then I have to listen to her boyfriend yell at me for fifteen minutes about how we shouldn’t have dangerous animals and he would have sued if his girlfriend was hurt.
And I just calmly walk him over to the sign (posted five feet away) that says “do not touch tanks or tap on glass. An Employee would be happy to assist you!”, before telling him that In all of the years I have worked in pet stores I have never had a child attempt to open a tank, much less someone who was supposed to be an adult.
TL;DR Bird, fish, reptile, whatever- DO NOT OPEN THE CAGES IN A PET STORE OR REACH INSIDE THEM.