It has come to my attention that, regrettably, there are certain exotic animal owners who knowingly and willfully try to hide the law and will attack those who share it openly online because they believe that knowledge of the law puts their “community” at risk of being busted.
Well I’ve never been a big fan of online bullies, much less online bullies who try to hide laws. So I’m gonna go ahead and remind all 8,100 of my beloved followers that the rabies vaccine in the USA is proven to work on domestic dogs and cats in clinical trials only. This means if you have an exotic like a raccoon, a fox, or a wolf or wolf hybrid and it bites someone, it can be forcibly removed from your care and destroyed so its head can be sectioned to test for rabies.
The rabies vaccine offers these animals NO legal protection even if it does actually prevent rabies, because the government does not recognize the vaccines efficacy on a legal level. This is the sad truth of the law. It isn’t scientific but it’s there.
This information is important to anyone ever considering adopting, fostering or even temporarily caring for an exotic mammal. Why certain people in these circles wish to keep such potentially fatal information hidden is beyond me.
So, again, I reiterate (just to make them mad) that the rabies vaccine offers no legal protection to an exotic such as a fox, raccoon, wolf or wolfdog if it bites someone. (Wolfdogs are occasionally treated like domestic dogs but dont count on it!)
Lack of knowledge of rabies control law can lead to tragedy for anyone responsible for exotics.
One day in Juneau, Alaska, a black wolf appeared out in the open of a snowy field while Nick Jans (photographer and author) was outside his back porch with his pet Labrador. Usually, wolves do not encounter humans, so when he first saw the wolf, he was in shock and in fear. His dog, however, went out to greet the black wolf. It turned out that the wolf was being friendly. The Labrador and wolf started to play together as Nick captured the exciting moment on his camera. The black wolf earned the name “Romeo” because of his playfulness toward the humans and other dogs. Everyone was skeptical of the wolf at first. Soon they realized that the wolf was no harm to the townspeople and the other dogs.
The black wolf had an understanding that creating a friendship and bond with the humans and dogs would bring harmony to the species.
The wolf visited the townspeople for six years until one day, he was shot by a couple of poachers visiting from outside the state. It was a very tragic event. After the event, the townspeople held a memorial to remember Romeo. Nick eventually wrote a book about the friendship between Romeo and him.
“Romeo and Nick shared a bond that was probably what the first humans who domesticated dogs felt about their dogs. More than about building trust, it was about understanding need for friendship that even the wildest animal feels.”
I know a popular ‘humans are weird to
aliens’ topic is how easily humans can bond to animals. But then
think the opposite.
We humans are so weird because we are
practically bonding magnets
have our social hierarchies, so it makes sense that we can fit in
with certain groups like dogs and even gorillas if we can understand
them enough. We get ourselves acquainted with dogs who have been
domesticated and these dogs will leap into our laps and constantly
bother us for pets and treats and licking us as a way to show
affection. People who can get certain animals to open up to us are
super cool. Aliens are in awe of how our understanding of them can
get us into a pack so readily that humans who are super close to
normally protective dog mothers are allowed to hold their precious
even manage to bond with animals like cats, known to be mostly
solitary. We care for these cats and when they’re comfortable they
will break their isolation and seek us out for affection.
an alien seeing a dog or cat go to an upset human and try to nuzzle
them or snuggle into their lap to let themselves be held for our
emotional comfort. These animals which, though currently
domesticated, were descended from predators streamlined towards a
goal of becoming efficient hunters. Willingly coming to our emotional
aid and comforting us because they’ve bonded with us so closely.
see dogs act as protectors and bark away intruders on the human
territory, but instantly turn happy when they know it’s their owner
and friend. They see cats utilizing inborn maternal instincts to hunt
down and leave 'gifts’ of dead things in an effort to feed and teach
their humans to take care of them since we’re such worthless hunters
in their eyes. They’ll even know if something is wrong with humans
medically before we do, or know about disturbances in the home like
fires or gas leaks, and will uncharacteristically jump us to get us
out of danger.
when humans are in danger by others, and an animal senses it before
we do, these animals will immediately jump on the defensive and snarl
and warn against any potential enemies and try to alert us.
got dogs who will literally jump on intruders and bite them when
they’re trying to attack their human owners. Throwing themselves and
and intimidating animals many times larger than themselves for our
sake. Even cats, the ones people might think aren’t very interested
in their humans, will throw themselves into the fray and claw the
hell out of something that’s a danger to a precious human of theirs.
for an added bonus, imagine if we can get this to apply to bigger,
deadlier animals with similar capacity for pack bonding.
months and months of talking, mimicking, feeding, and caring for a
giant predator the rest of the crew refuses to near, it’s sort of
relaxed to the human. A sense of loyalty that 'yes, this creature
cares for me’. Then, one day, pirates invade the vessel and somehow
the animal gets loose. Cue the crew panicking when it comes ambling
out of its’ holding bay at the time when a pirate is about to bring a
knife or something down on the human. Two seconds later this pirate
is running and screaming for its life when it sees it. The creature
takes a running start, LEAPS over the human (which was closest to it
and already injured) and takes off after it. When that pirate is
either captured or dead, the creature returns to the human, nuzzling
them and making sounds to see if they’re okay.
human is smiling and mimicking the sounds back, or just talking to it to say what a 'good boy’ it is.
aliens of the crew are in shock. The rest of the humans just smile
The dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a canid native to Asia. Other English names for the species include Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red wolf (not to be confused with Canis rufus), red dog, and mountain wolf. During the Pleistocene, the dhole ranged throughout Asia, Europe and North America, but became restricted to its historical range 12,000–18,000 years ago.
So I was tagged by @why-animals-do-the-thing in a post about what not to say in a job interview. It’s a bit overdue, but I figured this was a good opportunity to continue some of “How to Zookeep” and give y’all some insight on interviews. I’ve actually conducted quite a lot of interviews for an entry-level position. Here are just a few Do’s and Don’ts…
General Maybe Do’s:
Wear an outfit that looks pretty nice, but don’t go too formal. You should be able to get muddy or hop a fence - just in case. Most of the time you’ll know if it’s a true working interview, but some interviews will involve a tour, meeting an animal, or other situations where you might get messy.
Show that you’ve researched the facility and the position. This is especially true for phone interviews or if you’re not from the area. If you’ve ever visited the facility, mention that. Mention specific parts of the job description and why you’re interested or why you would excel at it. I know I always make a good note if candidates reference something on our website or from the job description because it lets me know they’ve done their homework. (One time a candidate quoted something verbatim and it was a little jarring only because I wrote that part of the website and it was strange to hear someone quote me).
If at all possible, have specific examples from your past experiences that you can talk about. These could be examples of training, working well with others, strengths & weaknesses, general animal care, etc. Try to be able to tell a story about when you worked around a training difficulty or resolved an issue with a coworker. And yes, have a real answer for “strengths and weaknesses”.
Try to use the most ‘updated’ zoo language you can. Zoo terminology changes so fast it’s hard to keep up. Try to use some of the research (website and job description) to see what kind of language this particular facility uses and attempt to mirror it. Examples are “in human care” instead of captivity or “habitat / enclosure” instead of cage/exhibit. It’s just a bonus way to make a good impression.
General Maybe Don’ts:
Don’t get political. This is what @why-animals-do-the-thing was asked about - mentioning animal rights activist groups in the interview. Unless you are completely sure that it is specifically relevant to the position try not to get into any heavy areas of debate, any controversial news stories (think Harambe), or politically charged organizations like PETA, HSUS, etc. And even though you might think that everyone in the zoo world agrees that US politics are terrible for zoos/the environment or something along those lines, a job interview is not the time to mention it.
Don’t ask for tips about a specific facility on a public forum. It’s important to do research, but this one crosses a bit of a professional line. I would advise against going on any public forum (like the facebook groups You Know You’re a Zookeeper When and Zookreepers) and asking for interview advice about a certain facility. Most people won’t want to comment publicly about their facility as it can be seen as unprofessional and a lot of their coworkers will see it. Most of the time the research you need can be done on the website and with some googling, but if you feel you just need to talk to someone who works there, try flexing your networking muscle a bit.
Don’t say you love animals. This sounds contradictory but hear me out here - this job is about much more than loving animals. A lot of interviewers are used to hearing this answer or seeing it in cover letters of people who think that liking animals is all you have to do for a job. Yes, you love animals, we know that. But what do you love about working with them? Do you like enrichment, exhibit design, training? What do you love about the career of zookeeper / aquarist / etc? It’s important to go beyond the surface of just wanting to be around animals and go into the details of how you will improve their lives when you literally have their lives in your hands. I’ve heard from a lot of interviewers that they’re tired of hearing about ‘passion’, they want to hear about action. They want to hear about cleaning, hard work, the real nitty-gritty of the job. This don’t also leads to a general tip (what if you don’t have examples of what you like yet?)
Here’s a common problem: you’re applying for your first entry-level position and you don’t have any animal experience yet. What do you talk about? Here’s some ideas:
Academic research or fieldwork - did you go on birding trips? Did you do mist-netting? Have you worked in a lab that uses live animals? Those things can be beginner animal experience.
Volunteering - zoos, vet clinics, etc.
Formal domestic animal experience - even if it’s not with exotic animals, the basics of caring for small domestics (cats, dogs, rodents, fish, etc.) in a formal setting (vet, pet store, rescue) has some aspects that apply in zoos, such as restraint and medical care.
Personal pets (very carefully) - It’s not that personal pet experience isn’t helpful when you’re just starting out, but sometimes newer keepers come in with an idea that their pet experience is on the same level as caring for animals in a formal career setting. It is not. Caring for your own animal in your own home is VERY different from caring for it in a zoo, aquarium, vet’s office, etc. In a formal setting, there are legal guidelines to follow, teams of people to communicate with about animal care, and lots of formality/red tape that doesn’t exist in a home setting. Pets can be useful as examples in interviews if it is relevant (medicating, enrichment, restraint) but they are almost never seen as an actual qualification. Side note, please don’t list personal pet care on a resume.
Overall in an interview, you want to try to be as collected and confident as possible. BUT if you get nervous and you’re really struggling, just tell us! It’s better to just laugh a bit and say sorry, I’m nervous, than to completely freeze up. I have done plenty of interviews where the person is nervous and that’s okay. I’ve hired people who were nervous or misspoke in their interview.
If you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line. I’ve interviewed and hired people for just three years now, so I may not be particularly seasoned, but I can lend a little of my expertise.
How do i convince my mom that it would be a better idea to get a pigeon rather than a parrot? Im not good with words :(
I’m honestly not great with them either.
And I can’t make the decision for her if she wants a parrot. Nor should I, really.
But here are the facts.
There is no genuinely domesticated parrot. Most are only about 5 generations from having been taken from the wild.
They are hyperintelligent, high maintainence, powerful birds who can break or sever fingers with a genuinely sereous bite, and are not misbehaving when they screech and bite. They are just being parrots.
The vast majority of parrot species are adapted to large, gregarious flocks, that range for miles and constantly call out to eachother.
Their beaks are made to crush nuts and splinter wood. Even *trying* to be gentle, bites can hurt or injure without the parrot actually meaning for them to.
They have very complex nutritional needs and even more complex needs for enrichment that the vast majority of himan handlers just aren’t prepared for, and bored, isolated, wild birds with beaks made to crush and splinter are just inherantly destructive.
Puberty is a whole other matter! And the hormonal aggression that crops up then for both sexes can potentially make them
The process of taming a parrot requires that it be imprinted on a human so that it doesn’t mistake its handler for a predator and lash out.
Imprinting does not just mark you as Mommy. You also become that birds ideal mate.
Which means that your parrot is likely to attack your significant other to defend its claim of you and try to insist that you maye with it or find dome way to satisfy its sexual urges.
Cuddling and talking just isn’t all there is to taking good care of a parrot. Their needs are incredibly complex and very, very, VERY difficult for the average person to meet.
And if your mom is prepared for that and able to deal with what amounts to an autistic 5 year old with wings who can scream literally as loud as a jet taking off and bite through a broom handle for the next 60-80 years, then awesome!
More parrots deserve a home that’s actually prepared for them!
(Before any one gets concerned, I am autistic! I do not describe parrots this way as an insult. The similarities are just glaring to me, and if the thought of living with an autistic human child is upsetting, you should really rethink getting a parrot.)
But if not, pigeons are amazing at fitting into human families.
Their social structure is very similar to ours, and they have been bred to live alongside humans since stationary settlements became a thing.
Pigeons have very simple physical needs and are content with very simple toys.
They are strict seed eaters that are simple to feed well. And if fed well, their poo is compact, easily cleaned up, and just AMAZING for plants!
A wire dog kennel can easily be modified to be comfortable for an indoor pigeon without breaking the bank.
They are not physically capable of screeching or even breaking the skin. They can tell you off or let you know they aren’t happy without the possibility of injuring you.
They physically can’t destroy furniture or personal belongings.
Pigeons are also incredibly intelligent. They just can’t talk or solve mechanical puzzles.
But they also have the relative cognitive capacity of a 5 year old human and what they *can* do is learn to genuinely understand an awful lot of spoken english!
They can be house trained, leash trained, even trained for assistance. My feral taught himself to be my stress and illness alert bird!
Pigeons fit so well with human families necause are as completely domesticated as dogs and chickens.
Nobody has to steal and bottle raise puppies to be sure they will be tame and safe to handle.
Because domestication is a physiological, genetic change in the brain and body guided by selective breeding, puppies are born docile and friendly and only need to be socialized to stay frirndly.
Same goes for pigeons.
There are TONS of breeds of pigeons! At least as many as there are dog breeds! With everything from intricate lace patterns to fancy bell bottomed feet to feather crests, bonnets, collars, and big, glorous shawls!
Pigeons are quiet, clever, Sky Puppies that make wonderful family members and are DEFINITELY worth consideration as house pets!
Here’s a really long list of a ton of the more simple/generic AU’s I’ve seen floating around. I made this list for personal reference and figured having so many all in one place might be helpful to others, too. I tried my best to alphabetize but I can’t promise it’s entirely correct. Hope you enjoy!
-1920’s -1920’s con artist -1940’s noir -1960’s -3DS friends -6 weeks to live
-A Walk to Remember -Accidentally falls asleep on stranger -Accidentally hugging stranger thinking they’re someone else -Accidentally read their journal -Accidentally swapped items and have to return it -Accidentally take each other’s bags -Action hero -Addicts -Adventure -Affair -Afterlife -Airport -Airport bar -Aladdin -Alchemists Alice in Wonderland -Alpha/beta/omega -Alternate history -Amnesia -Ancient Egypt -Ancient mediterraneans -Ancient orientals -Ancient slavs -Android and human -Animal -Angel -Antique shop -Apocalypse -Archaeologists -Architect -Around the world -Arranged marriage -Arthurian era -Artist -Assassins -Asylum -Author and fan
-Babysitter -Back in time -Bakery -Band/musician -Bank robbers -Bar -Barista(s) -Battle of the bands -Bayside -Beach -Beauty and the Beast -Childhood friends reunited -Big Brother -Blind -Blind date -Boarding school -Bonnie and Clyde -Book club -Bookshop -Borrow payphone money -Both cosplay same character at con -Both stood up for blind dates -Break up -Bride Wars -Brothel -Bucket list -Butler
-Camp counselors -Camping -Carnival -Castaways -Catfish -Catfish uncoverer -Celebrity -Centaur -Changeling -Charmed -Cheerleading -Childhood companions -Cinderella -Circus -Civil war (American or otherwise) -Civilian and agent -Clubbing -Coffeeshop -College -College roommates -Comic artist and assistant -Conartists -Cop/detective -Costars in a movie -Cowboy -Craigslist meetup -Crashed their car -Crime spree -Criminal -Criminals on the run -Cruel Intentions -Cruise ship -Cursed -Cyber date -Cyberpunk -Cyborg
-Death race -Demon -Demon and angel -Detective -Deserted island -Destructive relationship -Disneyworld cosplayers -Dinosaurs -Disturbia -Doctor(s) -Doctor and patient -Doctor Who -Dog walker -Domestic -Dragon -Dream -Drug smugglers -Drunk calling the wrong person -Drunk texting a stranger -During war
-Edwardian era -Egyptologists -Elements (earth, water, fire, air) -Elf -Elizabethan era -Enchanted -English class -Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -Eternal winter -Explorers (any time period)
-Fair -Fairy -Fairytale -Fake family -Faking It -Family doctor -Famous and fan -Farm -FBI -Festival -Fight Club -First time -Flower Shop -Forbidden romance -Foreign exchange program -Forest -Fortune cookie -Fortune teller and customer -Found their dog -Found their phone number in a library book -Fraternity -Freakshow -Friends with benefits -Fugitive -Futuristic -Futuristic resistance
-Game of life and death -Game of Thrones -Game show -Gang -Garden -Gardening -Gay for pay -Genderbend -Genderswap -Genie -Gets into a cab to find someone already in it -Gets lost at airport -Girl/guy next door -Ghibli movie -Ghost Adventures -Ghosts in love -Go to the same support group -Gods/demigods -Government spy -Greek God and Roman counterpart -Gypsy
-Hair stylist/makeup artist and actor/model -Halloween -Halloween party -Haunted -Haunted house -Have to take pictures for photography project -Heaven vs. Hell -Help moving -Heroes -Hidden talents -High class thieves -High School -High School reunion -High School teachers -Hiking -Hipster -Hitchhiker -Hitman -Hogwarts -Homeless -Horseback riding -Horror -Host/hostess and customer -Hostage -Hotel staff and guest -Hotel workers -Huge blizzard and only one hotel room left -Hunger Games -Hush Hush
-Jane Austen story -Journalists -Jurassic Park -Jury -Just keep running into each other everywhere -Juvie
-Kidnapping/ransom -Kindergarten teacher -Kiss bet -Kissogram -Kitsune
-Lab partners -Labyrinth -Laundromat -Law firm -Librarian -Library -Life guard -Little mermaid/merman -Looking for Alaska -Lose virginity bet -Lost -Lost at sea -Love triangle
-Mafia -Magic -Maid -Mailman and person who receives a lot of mail -Makeover -Marriage -Marriage contract -Masseuse -Masquerade -Mechanic -Medieval -Med school -Meet in diner at 2am -Mental hospital -Mermaid/merman/merfolk -Met at Comicon -Met on Tumblr -Met through online rpg -Military -Military school -Mindreader -Mirror world -Mistaken identity -Missed the same flight -Model -Modern royalty -Modern Tangled -Monster hunters -Monsters -Mortal Instruments -Movie rental shop -Movie star -Movie theater job -Murder mystery -Music bar -Music conservatory -Music teacher -Musician and fan -Mythology
-Nanny -Neolithic/tribal -New guy/girl -New Orleans -New neighbors -Nightmare on Elm Street Nuclear apocalypse -Nurse(s) -Nurse and patient Nursing home -Nymph
-Ocean -Office -Once Upon a Time -One’s blind and falls in love with the other’s voice -On of them is turned into a child -On opposite sides of a war - POW or spying -Orchestra player/pianist and concertgoer -Out walking their dog who starts chasing another person’s dog
-Pacific Rim -Paired together during an ice breaker -Pandemic apocalypse -Paralysis -Paramedics -Parenting -Park -Partners in crime (literally) -Partners in dance class -Past lives -Patients in mental hospital -Patients in same hospital ward -Pen pals -Personal trainer -Peter Pan -Pet runs away and other person finds it -Phantom of the Opera -Phone sex worker -Photographer -Photographer and model -Pilots -Pirate -Pirate and mermaid -Pixie -Poetry class -Pokemon -Police -Porn star -Poses nude for art students -Pretty Little Liars -Prisoner and guard -Prisoners/escaped prisoners -Private detective and client -Private investigator -Prohibition era -Project partners -Prom -Protester and police -Prostitute/escort -Public demonstrations -Punk rock
-Ranch -Reality TV show -Rebels against the government -Rebellion -Rehab -Reincarnation -Restaurant -Reunited -Rich family and servants -Riding the same bus -Riding the same bus multiple times -Rivals -Roadtrip -Roadtrip, serial killer -Roller derby -Robot -Roommates -Royalty and servant -Runaway royalty and confused commoner -Runaways -Running late for the same flight
-Sailor and mercreature -Sandman -SAW -Scavenger hunt -Scifi -Scream -Screenwriter and director -Sculptor -Selkie -Serial killer -Servant -Sex pact -Sex shop -Sex shop owner -Sex tape -Sex worker -Seven deadly sins -Shakespeare play -Share same layover -Sharing an umbrella -Siblings -Siblings best friend -Sits next to each other at an orchestra -Sits next to each other in theater -Sits next to each other on turbulent flight -Sitting by same wall plug -Skateboarder(s) -Skipping school -Slayer(s) -Sleepwalker -Sleepwalker in college dorm -Small town -Snowboarder(s) -Snowball fight, hits passerby -Snowhite and the Huntsman -Soldiers on opposing sides -‘Sorry about stealing your wallet last year, no I wasn’t drunk’ -Soul mates -Soulless -Space pirates -Space travel -Spartacus -gladiators or freed slaves against the Roman army -Specialty shop -Spectrumswap -Spin the bottle -Spring break -Stage magician and audience participant -Stardust -Step-siblings -Stranded -Steampunk -Strip club -Stripper -Struggling artists -Student and teacher -Study abroad -Stuffed animal becomes a person -Sucked into a video game -Suddenly become disabled/handicap -Suddenly caught in the rain -Summer job -Summer school -Superhero -Supernatural -Supernatural hunters -Superpowers -Surfing -Survivor
-Tailor and customer -Taken hostage at bank robbery -Tattoos and piercings -Tattoo parlor -Teacher and student -Ten Inch Hero -Terminal illness -The Breakfast Club -The Labyrinth -The one that got away -The Princess Diaries -The Vow -Theme park -Theme park mascots -Theme park workers -Theater -Therapist and patient -Therapist and patient in mental institution -Thieves on the run -Time traveler -Titanic -Tourist -Train ride -Translator -Trapped in an elevator -Trapped on a deserted island together -Treasure hunting -Triplets -Tutor and student -TV host -Twins
-Undercover lovers -Undercover stripper -Underwear model -Underworld -vampires vs lycans -Use someone’s charger -Use someone’s hotspot
-Vacation -Vampire -Veronica Mars -Vikings -Violinist(s) -Virtual world
-Waiter(s) -Wake up together in Vegas -Wedding -Werecat -Werewolves -What Happens in Vegas -White House -Wild West -Witch trials -Wizard AU where one accidentally apparates into the wrong house -World War II -Writer and editor -Wrong bag
[points to mythical three-headed canine beast creature most well known for guarding the entrance to the Greek underworld but which now guards a magical stone with the potential to grant literal immortality]