oh GOSH this is so vague!! there are 37 species of wild cat so “unusual” can be taken so many ways omg like unusual looking/sounding/Cryptid species or like color morphs/mutations like there are So Many options here!!! but i’ll do some of each (under the cut) and lmk if theres anything else u wanna know!!
You prolly won't read this for a while because I know you get a bazillion asks, but can you explain (or link if you have before, I couldn't find it) what the deal is with this T.I.G.E.R.S. insanity? Who is this guy? How does he get away with the crap he's accused of?
You’ll want to check out @bigcatawareness‘ tag on T.I.G.E.R.S for the most specific information. I have not made a masterpost about him because I would prefer to not have him threaten to sue me, and yes, he does that shit. He once went after someone I know for simply writing about how what he was saying about white tigers was factually incorrect - when threatening them with a lawsuit from a lawyer who didn’t exist didn’t work, he tried to bribe them into taking it offline. This is how he gets away with things. He’s apparently threatened to sue The Dodo - which is backed by HuffPost - so that tells you how much money he has to throw around when he’s unhappy about something.
His internship is cult-like. Here’s the internship requirements. Don’t drink anything while you’re reading it if you value your computer.
He likes to tell people how breeding color morph tigers saves them from extinction and how ligers make people care about big cat conservation. He actually has at least five websites he runs (I keep finding more) where he cites himself as an expert so that his facility pages can cite his expert work.
He actually runs two facilities, one of which is ZAA accredited and decent (ish) and one of which is a tiger holding facility in an outdoor shopping mall in which people can pay to hold baby tigers for a photo. It is incredibly hard to figure out they are the same organization but not related to each other because their websites don’t always link to each other as you’d expect for two facilities being run under the same company.
I’ve managed to confirm with ZAA that he’s straight out running around their bans on cub exploitation by lending himself cubs - they don’t regulate who an accredited facility can lend animals. They are not pleased. They have no recourse.
Here’s his list of USDA violations going back as long as he’s been in business. Note the comments from USDA about he’s not trustworthy and how he was caught trying to flee the scene of his lion injuring a model. (Yes, it’s a PETA link, but I’ve confirmed the data is accurate).
When you visit his facility you pay a couple hundred bucks to be allowed to hang out free-contact with an untethered asian elephant, hold month-old tiger cubs, and let wolf puppies run over your legs. You can’t take photos and he attempts to retain the copyright of the ones taken for you.
I can’t confirm any of the projects his Rare Species Fund conservation program runs actually contribute to conservation. He probably hasn’t bothered to update his website in a while, since he hasn’t exhibited his ligers and tigers on chains on a stage at King Richard’s Faire in MA for two years, but it is still listed as one of his biggest projects. Most of the other projects involved lending cats out as actors or are things I can’t find on google.
People I’ve talked to who worked for him won’t talk about him because it’s too upsetting. People who I’ve talked to who have to interface with him professionally just avoid him as much as possible.
I suggest you look through BCA’s tags and draw your own conclusion.
I made this for myself, figured y’all would want it too. It’s just a quick scale up of the child’s cute bob from Backyard Stuff for adults. It has all regular kid colors, and hat morphs. It’s BGC, categories and all that are whatever the kids one is set to.
Do whatever you want with it. TOU doesn’t apply to this hair.
Hey so I've seen a lot of posts about high quality vs low quality phenotypic reptiles (esp like leopard geckos and ball pythons) and I was wondering what high quality vs low quality phenotypic Kenyan sand boas look like/how to tell? :)
OH BOY IS THIS A FANTASTIC QUESTION.
I have very little experience with leo morphs and genetics, so I’ll make comparisons to ball pythons.
So comparing breeding quality in BPs and sandboas is like… difficult. They could NOT be more different. Not because a quality difference doesn’t exist, but because with sandboas, we are talking about two separate gene pools: Homo/Heterozygous mutation phenotypic traits and locality phenotypic traits. The two are VERY separate, can be combined, and are bred for or against based on the goals of the specific breeder.
Let’s start with mutation traits. The main, singular heritable traits found in sandboas are:
Anery (most common)
Albino (second most common)
Paradox (third most common)
HGW (High Genetic White)
Hypo/Ghost (this is VERY new)
The main, heritable LOCALITY trait in sandboas is:
ALL variations of stripe (wide stripe, granite stripe, pepper stripe,etc.)
ALL variations of reduced pattern EXCEPT HGW
The main, line bred/selectively bred traits in sandboas that are NOT locality specific are:
Yellow ground color (Egyptian locality)
Rufescens (Smaller size, brown/black, very little orange, tiger, possibly gray belly scales)
Dodoma (reduced pattern of varying degrees)
Many of these traits can be combined.
In mutations, the degree of quality is relatively objective. Let’s take a look at the first sandboa color morph: The Anery.
(From Sand Boa Classifieds FB Page, Patrick Smigocki)
Look at these three examples of anery. Which would you rather breed?
There is really only one quality example of anery here: The one on the bottom! The top sandboa is VERY dirty, a trait usually avoided with anery animals. The middle animal is… just okay. Still pretty dirty, and that disrupts the stark contrast between the black and white. The bottom, on the other hand, is minimally dirty and has decent contrast. Unfortunately, as inexperienced keepers and breeders scoop up anery sandboas (you can find one for 40 dollars at shows sometimes) the quality of anery has tanked. You see a lot more animals that look like #1 and 2 than #3.
You can see the same muddied traits in albino. For example:
Now, if we ignore the fact that the second sandboa is a paradox albino, that the second boa is on a blue background that makes the orange pop, AND I think albinos are ugly anyway, we have the following color difference:
The second sandboa has MUCH more contrast. If you bred the first animal, you’d be left with muddy, low contrast albino and het albino animals. You find this kind of thing in every sandboa morph.
On the other genetic pool, you have locality traits that can be isolated, line bred, improved, and combined with morph traits.
Let’s look at a very dramatic locality: The Dodoma.
Note: The above snake is a high content Dodoma cross. Pure Dodoma locality snakes are very rare and kept almost exclusively by Warren Treacher and a handful of others.
The Dodoma sandboa is named for the Dodoma Valley where they are found in Tanzania. These sandboas have bred together over time to have an overall reduced pattern. This trait is genetic, but is a TENDENCY toward a specific pattern, not a morph. Dodoma crosses (usually with normal patterned KSBs) are called California Flames (Cal Flame) and look like this:
This Cal Flame has the almost bald Dodoma head, the soft orange/peach color, and low black markings. Dodoma animals of varying content and expression are combined with morph mutations and result in some incredible animals.
We should also understand that an animal can have Dodoma CONTENT, or exhibit Dodoma traits, but an animal CANNOT be “het” Dodoma. Dodoma is not a gene! It is a specific, naturally line bred look.
Rufescens sandboas are another locality morph. According to Warren Treacher’s The Sandboa Book, the Rufescens sandboa is a naturally occurring locality within Ethiopia. They first arrived in the US in 2002, and when bred, produce a plethora of crossed appearances.
Interestingly, in Rufescens content animals, stripe is a dominant trait, but when the various types of stripe are combined, they begin to get muddy like a mutation would. Tigers, though a decidedly Rufescens trait, are NOT heritable in the het/homozygous sense. They are heritable as the Dodoma pattern tendency is heritable.
So, what makes a good breeding quality locality animal? Unlike mutation color morphs, the markers of quality are less clear cut. It depends on what you are breeding FOR. It could be a new Dodoma combo, with high contrast. Perhaps a new kind of stripe. Maybe you want to create a Rufescens cross Tiger that is also an albino. If you have a PLAN with locality animals, and your animals exhibit or produce offspring that exhibit the traits you find desirable, you are on the right track.
So: In short, with morph animals you should use similar criteria that you would use with ball pythons. Is the patterning interesting? Is the contrast high? Does the animal express its color well? Do the combined genes compliment one another?
With locality and locality cross animals, you should consider how an animal fits into your plans. Does it exhibit traits you want to breed toward? Can you combine this with other traits you find interesting? Can you safely breed animals with the same traits while limiting your inbreeding coefficient? Is the animal labeled with its correct locality? (For example: ALL stripes are Rufescens crosses, but rarely labeled as such.)
So, uh. Yeah. I hope that was at least a little helpful. It’s really late and I’m going to bed.
Hi, I was reading one of your posts about zoos and it mentioned unhealthy color morphs including the spider ball python. I haven't heard of this and was curious as to what kind of problems they have and what the coloration has to do with it? Or if you have any links on the subject, that's fine, too.
Spider-morph ball pythons have a head-wobble that’s a neurological disfunction. I’m going to quote one of @equagga‘s great posts on it:
“The same mutation that causes the drippy spider pattern also causes misplaced nervous tissue, the cause of wobble. This is because both pigment producing cells and nervous cells begin in the same population of cells, the neural crest. Depending at what point in the developmental pathway a mutation alters the path’s course, only one or both can thus be affected. (…) [Spider] clearly affects the path before the cells differentiate into separate types. This is theory but it is sound, because all spiders to some extent wobble, and because spider is lethal in its homozygous form. (…)The reason not all spiders have severe wobble is because development goes differently for every animal. Much as no two spiders have the same pattern of drips, no two spiders have the same neural layout. Some wind up OK and only wobble under stresses so extreme a well-kept one will not wobble, and others are better off euthanized.”
(I couldn’t decide which name to use, so I decided to use all of them. So)
½ of the ginger color morph siblings that joined the herd couple of years ago. Originally called Feet of Stone, she changed her name to Striking Willow when she joined, though her friends have turned that into a Willow Whip, as a pet name.
It’s common for the shepherds to change names to reflect major life changes, and it’s not unheard of to have family members with multiple names. In case this parricular family ever run into Willow’s old tribe, they’d probably still call her Feet instead.