pet-trade

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The slow loris’ huge eyes and soft fur make it incredibly cute and appealing to humans, but these features also cause people to think the slow loris makes a tempting pet.  The exotic pet trade in slow lorises is now one of the biggest reasons behind their decline.  The little primates are popular pets in Indonesia, and are frequently smuggled out to Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Russia, and even as far as the US to be purchased by unwitting owners.  Many of these “pet” slow lorises have their teeth clipped or pulled in order to neutralise their toxic bites, which risks infection and death for the animal.  It is also difficult for the average person to replicate the loris’ complex diet, meaning that these “pet” lorises are often malnourished and/or obese.  They are also very prone to stress and shock, as well as sensitive to light.  And finally, as slow lorises do not breed well in captivity, almost all of the animals purchased as pets have been taken from the wild.  As many as 95% of these hapless animals will die of infection or improper care.

It should also be noticed that many “cute” behaviours displayed by “pet” slow lorises are actually misinterpretations by humans; the popular video of the slow loris raising its arms to be tickled, for example, most likely is actually a frightened loris displaying its venom glands as a form of defense, not a pet enjoying human attention.

anonymous asked:

Can you tell me more about earless monitor lizards? They look really neat but I've never heard of them before..

I can tell you a little bit. They are an extremely beautiful rare lizard that like many animals is threatened by palm oil cultivation. It lives a fairly subterranean life and has a very unique morphology. It was described in 1887 but rediscovered again in 2012. A very special, very cool lizard. Soon after scientists published their findings wildlife smugglers went to the area and started exporting them for the pet trade. For an island species already being pressured by habitat loss adding in poaching can be devastating. Here are some links you can read about it more here, and here

(source)

anonymous asked:

Is it bad to buy betta fish from pet stores in order to spare them from suffering? I'm firmly against buying pets rather than adopting them, but I feel so bad every time I see bettas half-dead in tiny cups...

Honestly, yes it is. I can totally appreciate your impulse to give them a better life, but all you will really achieve is that you will give the pet shop money, you will take stock from them, which they will then replace with even more betta fish in similar conditions. You’d end up causing more suffering, not less. I know it’s incredibly sad and really difficult, but we should never find the pet trade however noble our intentions may be. 

How to tame your hedgehog

African pygmy hedgehogs are becoming more popular as pets and with this rises the question on how to handle them. A quick glance at hedgehog fora and Facebook groups shows threads and posts titled “my hedgehog doesn’t like me” or “my hedgehog hates me”, “anti-social hedgehog”, “very angry hedgehog” and so on.

In order to understand the behaviour of our pets we have to look at the animal itself. What kind of animal is the hedgehog?

First off, hedgehogs do not “hate” people, nor are they “angry”. They are physically incapable of feeling such a human emotion. When handling hedgehogs we need to be careful not to project our own emotions and feelings onto the animal; this does not help us understand the needs of our pets. Instead, we need to go back to the root of it all: the natural instincts and behaviour of the hedgehog.

African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) became more widely available to the exotic pet trade around the late 80′s/early 90′s in the US (and a decade or more later to other parts of the world). This isn’t that long ago. We need to realize our pet hedgehogs are not fully domesticated yet - in fact, they’re basically still the same (behaviour-wise, at least) as their wild cousins. I have seen wild caught animals which were more “social” than captive bred ones, and the other way around. This is also why I chose the word tame for the title of this post. While they might be captive born, our pets are still quite wild.
We cannot compare hedgehogs to animals we share an extensive, sometimes thousands of years old relationship with. But besides that, hedgehogs will most likely never become like a dog or a guinea pig simply because certain behavioural treats are not in their nature.
Learning how to handle your hedgehog starts with having the right expectations of its behaviour.

Hedgehog behaviour

Hedgehogs are relatively small prey animals. They are nocturnal, spend the nights foraging for food and sleep in their burrows during the day.
They are solitary animals and only come together to mate.
They are not aggressive by nature but have a marvellous defence instead: thousands of sharp quills. When threatened, they roll into a tight ball and wait until the predator has left (or in rare cases, fight, but only if they’re forced to).

So what does this mean for someone who has a pet hedgehog? 

1. Do not expect a similar bond as with e.g. a dog. Dogs are social animals that were bred from an animal that lives in packs. Hedgehogs are solitary. They are not social by nature. They do not need you and while they might get used to you being around, you’re mainly the Food Bringer and the Warm Thing To Sleep On but little more. There will not be much interaction. Your hedgehog will not come up to you when you call its name nor will it “love” you as its owner, simply because it can’t.

2. Being defensive prey animals, you can seem threatening to them. Balling up is an automatic response to a possible threat. This is totally normal hedgehog behaviour.

3. Since they’re nocturnal all they want to do during the day is sleep, not interact with you. And they do not interact or play the way some other mammals do. Most of the time you’re spending together will consist of the hedgehog either running around and doing stuff on its own, or sleeping on your lap.

These things are all very important in helping you understand the behaviour of your hedgehog. There are reasons your hedgehog is displaying these behaviours and if you know those reasons, you can use them to make your hedgehog feel more comfortable around you.
Arguably, other than looking cute hedgehogs don’t really have much going for them when it comes to being what most people think of as a “good pet”. They are definitely not suitable for everyone, but if they’re your type of pet they can be very interesting and wonderful animals to have!

Tips on handling/taming your hedgehog

Before I start I’d like to point out that every hedgehog is different and there’s not just one right way when it comes to handling. This is how I do it, coming from my experience with captive bred and wild caught (as well as actual wild hedgehogs) and from well socialized to not socialized at all. Besides the socialization of hoglets by the breeder, character plays a major part in hedgehog behaviour. Some hedgehogs seem to be naturally social and more open towards interaction (or at least let you interact with them) while others will remain more defensive for their entire lives.
The key with hedgehogs is patience. Do not expect a hedgehog to stop huffing and balling up within a week. If you just got a hedgehog it will need to get used to its new environment and owner, which takes time. How much time varies. Some will get used to you within a few weeks, others take months.
“Used to you” is also relative, as this doesn’t necessarily mean your hedgehog will stop balling up or quit huffing at you entirely - that’s very unlikely, since this is normal hedgehog behaviour.

Hedgehogs have bad eyesight and rely mainly on their excellent noses. You can make use of this by giving your hedgehog an old, worn t-shirt which has your scent on it. Alternatively, if you don’t have an old shirt, you can sleep with a piece of fleece in your bed for a day or two and give that to your hedgehog.
By putting this in the enclosure for the hedgehog to sleep in it will get more used to your scent.

The more you handle your hedgehog, the faster it’ll get used to handling. Don’t be afraid to handle your hedgehog; use your bare hands or a piece of fleece but no (leather) gloves, because then your hedgehog won’t be able to smell you properly. Do not reward unwanted behaviour (such as biting or extensive huffing/clicking) by putting the hedgehog back into its enclosure. Instead, enforce positive behaviour, e.g. by offering treats like live insects (I always use tongs so they do not mistake my hands for food).

Some people prefer a more “manhandling” way when handling hedgehogs, I personally don’t really like this for most hedgehogs but it’s a thin line: after all, you’re always forcing your pet to be with you when you get it out. If a hedgehog clearly shows it doesn’t like to be petted on the quills, I don’t go on petting it that way. But I don’t put it back either. Instead, I try to search for a way of handling with which this particular hedgehog is more comfortable right now. And yes, sometimes you have to do something they don’t particularly like, but be sure to reward positive behaviours - you don’t always need to reward with food, but it could also be simply “releasing pressure” (like giving them some space for themselves for a bit instead of continuously petting them, for example).
Handling should be seen in a very broad sense. Some hedgehogs prefer to sleep when out while others are active explorers. Try to adjust your ways of handling accordingly.
Because hedgehogs are nocturnal, some do much better when you take them out in the evening and/or when there’s dim lightning in the room.

When I have a new hedgehog which isn’t well socialized or simply has to get used to me and its new surroundings first I like to start by having it explore the (hedgehog safe) room or play area. I sit down on the ground and let the hedgehog do its own thing. If it likes to explore it can explore, if it likes to sleep it can sleep on my lap (most hedgehogs don’t like to sleep out in the open so a fleece bonding bag works great for this).
In the following days I will start to move around more. First still in a sitting position, then walking around, so the hedgehog gets used to my movements and me simply being there without me really interacting with it directly. You can do this both when the hedgehog is exploring or in its cuddle bag on you lap. For many hedgehogs it’s a combination of the two, some explore time and then back to sleep (especially during the day).
Depending on how much time I feel the hedgehog needs I keep repeating this for the following days or even weeks. With some, the slightest movement causes them to raise their quills. Others don’t react at all and could do fine with skipping these steps.

After that I start doing more “hands on” interaction, touching them more, trying to see if they mind petting on the quills or not, or the face, belly etc. Again rewarding wanted behaviour. It’s a constant search for what they really don’t like, what they tolerate, and what I think is necessary for the process. This is something you can’t just know without experience, it’s something you will have to learn and that’s completely fine! And simply being around them, having them sleep on your lap is bonding too. You might not be really doing much but the hedgehog will get used to your presence.
Even if you bought a hedgehog with the intention of not handling it much (which should be fine, as long as it gets enough enrichment from its habitat) handling should be a part of hedgehog ownership. You need to be able to check for injuries, clip the nails, etc. These “medical checks” are part of my handling routine: I hold the feet, check the hedgehog all over including their teeth (if possible). Your vet will thank you for this as well! Even when I have no intention of clipping their nails I still hold their feet, not only to check them over but also to make them comfortable with me holding them, which makes for easier nail clipping.

So it all boils down to this: have lots of patience, take small steps, and don’t have expectations a hedgehog simply cannot live up to. Accept that some hedgehogs, even with extensive handling, will never be “cuddly” simply because that’s how they are. All those hedgehogs you see on the internet, the ones that are getting belly rubs and petted while looking extremely chill: these are not the majority. This is rare. And even if you see a hedgehog that tame, remember there’s a lot you’re not seeing: possibly many weeks, months or even years working towards that moment, and it still is just a few minutes out of the hedgehog’s life. They don’t show you the times the hedgehog is huffing and clicking and balling up. Don’t feel bad if yours is, be open and willing to learn about hedgehog behaviour and never stop asking questions. And most importantly, listen to your hedgehog by watching its body language, because that’s going to tell you more about your hedgehog than my posts about general hedgehog behaviour ever could!

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The gorgeous golden mantella frog (Mantella aurantiaca) is a critically-endangered amphibian that is facing extinction from human pressure. Their distribution is extremely limited and their habitat faces destruction; in addition, they face heavy collection pressure from the pet trade. Please help protect Madagascar’s native frogs; if you want golden mantella frogs, make sure to buy only proven CBB specimens! The frogs would thank you if they could.

anonymous asked:

What's your opinion on wild-caught box turtles?

Originally posted by lorddino

All joking aside, I have problems with wild caught box turtles for several reasons:

1) Collecting turtles/tortoises from the wild can actually be a lot worse than taking other reptiles. It’s usually adult animals that are collected and because of their slow life history strategy it is extremely damaging to remove sexually mature adults from a turtle population. The negative effects aren’t always immediately obvious since turtles have such long lifespan, but one study found that removing only a handful of adult females from a small box turtle population could doom it to a slow but inevitable extinction.

2) There are plenty of captive bred box turtle hatchlings available for sale (and lots of unwanted adults in need of new homes) so there is no reason to take them out of the wild. A captive bred turtle will be much more friendly towards humans, less stressed in captivity, and less likely to harbor disease or parasites.

3) Unfortunately many (if not most) people who have box turtles as pets do not keep them anywhere close to correctly. Many end up in undersized aquariums without proper substrate, humidity, heat, or lighting. If a person takes the time to find a breeder and buy a captive bred turtle they are more likely to also put the time in to do some research on their care (whereas if they just find and keep a wild one it’s more likely to be seen as a disposable whim).

I’m not gonna say it’s never ok to take any animal out of the wild. Ecologically responsible, small-scale collection of super common species for which captive bred individuals are not available (a lot of amphibians like bull frogs, tiger salamanders, and most toads are like this) is perhaps not ideal but I don’t think it’s morally reprehensible either. But unless you’re collecting an invasive species like a red eared slider I think wild turtle/tortoise collecting is almost never ok simply because their populations are so vulnerable to it.

More than half of the world’s turtle/tortoise species are threatened with extinction in some way and collection for the pet trade is a huge threat to many species. We should avoid being part of that problem.

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Um!!! This is the new (not yet implemented) Petco Betta Caresheet. A few amazing things going on here! 

1. In the comparison between male and female bettas, aggression is not mentioned at all. Where before the caresheet said females were less aggressive, now it just says males are more vibrantly colored.

2. 5 gallons!!! As the minimum tank size! I don’t even know a lot of hobbyists who’ll say 5 as the minimum.

3. Somewhat accurate temperatures, calling for the use of both a heater and a thermometer. 

4. Advocating for the use of plant cover and hides to mimic their natural habitat. 

5. Including a decent diet, made up of various kinds of food! 

6. Really nice fun facts, including a subtle mention of wild betta, which is really cool! Wild betta are on the decline, so if interest is garnered by one of the biggest pet store chains in the US, we may see a spike in the pet trade at least.

I am very proud of Petco for this, and really looking forward to what changes come next!

Thanks to @fishyy-bidnezz!!!

Illegal Animal Trade in Mexico

I need some help from all of you that might live in a different country that actually do something for their wildlife and exotic animals.  

Lately I’ve seen many exotic animals or wildlife being sold on facebook, I reported it to my country’s authorities but I got no answer, it’s a big problem, people sell all the species above and more (like tigers).

There are so many posts per day of people selling wildlife or undocumented exotic animals, or changing them for stuff!! Can you imagine someone saying “I change this parrot for a bicycle” or “I change my dog for a video game I like”, can you imagine that?
“I sell this raccoon” “I can offer you a python”

And all you see are animals in terrible enclosures, ANYONE with money (and not a lot of it) can buy these animals without any knowledge, there’s not even age restriction.

Well, imagine that, that’s Mexico’s reality and what I have to face every day and I don’t even know how to deal with that. And this is not a black market, it’s literally only on facebook and only on my city! there are a lot of animals being kidnapped from the wild and sold at highways and flea markets.  


I would really appreciate if you reblogg it, I hope it reaches someone that can help or tell me what I can do to help the situation. Or at lest lets tell the world what is happening. 
(and if any of you can get into the group and report it to facebook I would appreciate it too)

 Lets be their voice.

meet the ridiculous fluffballs I’ve been feeding since they were born in one of the feral cat shelters I put in the back garden. They are 9 weeks old, and @lemonsharks caught them and we have been trading off petting/cuddling/washing/feeding them since I think Friday? I no longer have any sense of what day it is, thanks to constant dosing with Benedryl, and getting up every hour last night to check on them.

Possibly I may have spent $$$$ I don’t really have on fancy schmancy kitten food in the last 9 weeks. So we may pass the hat at some point, since we both lost our jobs about 2 weeks after they were born, and there are going to be vet bills to pay as well.

They are adorbs and ridic, and I’m pretty sure all 4 are getting adopted (@lemonsharks has already claimed Jones). Now that we know they are 3 boys and a girl, names are being adjusted. Stone’s twin is most likely Cillian now, but Flynn is staying Flynn because she is so very Flynn.

instagram

A critically-endangered female northern white-cheeked gibbon named Polly at the @EndangeredPrimateRescueCenter in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. She was a youngster, and instead of sucking her thumb, she actually sucked on her big toe during our photoshoot.
Because they are hunted for meat, used in traditional “medicines” and sold into the illegal pet trade, Northern white-cheeked gibbons’ main predators are humans. Their forest habitats in China, Vietnam and Laos are steadily being destroyed as logging continues, causing their populations to diminish along with it. In fact, there hasn’t been a Northern white-cheeked gibbon sighting in China since the 1990s.
The Endangered Primate Rescue Center is a not-for-profit project dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, breeding, research and conservation of Vietnam’s endangered and critically endangered primate species. Their final aim is to reintroduce and release these animals as stable family groups into well-protected natural areas.

Ball python (Python regius)

The ball python is a python species found in sub-Saharan Africa. Like all other pythons, it is a non-venomous constrictor. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its small size and typically docile temperament. The name “ball python” refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. Maximum adult length of this species is 182 cm. Ball pythons prefer grasslands, savannas, and sparsely wooded areas. Termite mounds and empty mammal burrows are important habitats for this species.In the wild, their diet consists mostly of small mammals.

photo credits: Mokele

At my parents’ house on Christmas Eve, I got a chance to find some of my old toys. I always called this guy an “alligator lizard,” but I’m not sure how I decided that. I knew that such a thing existed, but I don’t remember knowing what they looked like.

External image

Turns out they’re gorgeous. Problematically so. Fourteen species within the genus Abronia are endangered–partially due to habitat destruction, but also due to the pet trade.

The Wikipedia page for this particular species (Abronia gaminea) suggests that the pet trade…

is a potential aid to the preservation of this species through captive breeding programs.

But, much like the Axolotl, breeding them in captivity means nothing if the Mexican canopies in which they romp is destroyed. Also, most hobby herpetologists are not in the situation to release endangered species back to their native rainforests. Instead, the pet trade has a tendency to take animals from their habitats, hurting their changes of a recovery. 

anonymous asked:

theres a post going around saying how you should NOT get a parrot even if you are a dedicated owner. i do not personally agree and am actually a bit mad at the way they portray parrots, almost teaching people to fear them. whats your stance on it?

If you’re referring to pepperandpals’ post, I agree with it. Had you asked me this question a few years ago I would probably say otherwise but after all the experience, knowledge and dedication I’ve put in to learning I no longer believe that parrots should be sold in the pet trade under most conditions.

You haven’t a clue how many birds get mistreated, left with dowel perches, no UV lighting, small cages, seed only diets, forced to aggress, get placed in homes with teflon products, and end up living miserably with these people up until their lives end way earlier than they should have.  Too many people think that exotics are just that, exotic, a decoration, something to brag about and end up not actually caring for it as much as they should.  Too many people believe that they’re doing right or don’t need to be doing more and as a result the bird suffers.

When it comes to people who do do their research, have previous hands on experience and really care for a bird the best they can, it’s rarely ever enough when you compare, and the average person is not able to provide that sort of lifestyle for them.  Using myself as an example, I spend all day with my birds, I spend all my time adding things to environment, switching up diets, giving them exercise, mentally stimulating them, cage cleaning, rearranging the bird room, it’s no exaggeration when I say I spend a solid 12 hours that they’re awake caring for them and then spend the whole evening trying to think of ways to improve the care I’m giving them for tomorrow.  Despite how hard I try, how much research and how much i provide it never feels like enough.  because it isn’t enough.

I do my best to show you guys all the work I put in to caring for my little girls, I constantly receive messages telling me how amazing I am for giving these birds this life and all the work I put in to them but in all honesty, you guys don’t see the half of it.  You don’t see the thousands of hours of research I put in to every aspect of their life, their diets, their housing, their natural foraging experiences, safe plants, cleaning, moulting habits, behavioural situations, space division, possession, territory layouts, and so much more go on on a daily basis.  You don’t see all the work I have to do to make sure that these highly territorial species doesn’t fight and kill one another so that I can continue to have them both out as much as possible, only having them out one at a time would take away so much space and enjoyment from their lives.   You don’t see the vet bills, the preparation, the stress reducing, you don’t see the costs, the time, the energy that goes in to trying to keep them happy.  You all seem to have this idea that the care I give my birds is way beyond exceeding expectations but let me tell you something, what I do I consider to be bare minimum.

All the effort, expenses, time, and work is absolutely necessary for them to be content with a captive lifestyle, if I was away at school or work full time I would consider this care to be subpar, to be inadequate, they would be unhappy with that lifestyle because that’s not what they’re designed for. They are not meant to live this way and not everyone has the time, space, personality or tolerance necessary to care for them the way they deserve.

This is a parrotlet’s natural habitat

source

This is my parrotlets’ habitat

Can you look at those and tell me that they can possibly be perfectly content and happy this way without the time and effort I put in to it?

Can you tell me that a bird so intelligent, so so smart can be removed from that environment and so perfectly adapt without any problems?

Can you look at this bird and tell me that they’re happy with this lifestyle?

Plucking is a behaviour that only happens in captivity it has never been recorded in the wild.  Plucking is a behaviour caused by boredom, understimulation, stress, inadequate diet, and sometimes even happens just because they’re depressed.

You can not tell me that parrots are happier this way, you can not possibly tell me that taking something so perfectly adapted to a single lifestyle, perfectly designed to fly forever is okay having that removed.  You will never be able to convince me that something perfectly designed to work with flight will be happy to have them chopped off for human enjoyment.  My own Mia used to be clipped because she was from a store, my own Mia was depressed because of it, she did not move very much, she did not want to play with toys, she did not want to interact with people, she was miserable that way.  But people wouldn’t notice that, they would dismiss it as the bird’s personality or just adapting or some other excuse to ignore the fact that the bird is having a horrific time.  You will never be able to convince me that this:

is healthier or more beautiful than this

I’ve already had to make a separate post on why being clipped is so detrimental to their health even though it’s such a common practice. And I’ve made a separate post on all the work that has to go in to keeping a bird safe.

you will never convince me that being captive is healthy.

Parrots are a full time job, they are not a pet, they are not a decoration, they are not a toy, they are not a phase, they’re a commitment and a hell of a big one.  Birds should not be readily available in pet stores, owners should have to go through tests to see if they’re capable of providing a stimulating environment for the ones that already stuck in this trade.  I think that breeding should be focused on maintaining health and maintaining the survival of species such as the endangered blue throated macaws and I think that species such as hyacinths, or cockatoos shouldn’t be in homes at all.  Keeping those birds isn’t a matter or giving them an enriching life, it’s a matter of doing your best to prevent them from suffering. 

In this world ignorance is bliss, a few years ago I would have thought just the same as you, I believed it’s just a bird it’s sold in a store it will be just fine.  But as soon as you learn, as you soon as you see all the harm and the suffering these birds go through you’ll change your mind.  

If you are a dedicated owner, if you have the experience and knowledge you should have before you even get a bird a pet store wouldn’t even be an option.  There’s a reason that every reputable person, blogger, trainer, or other animal worker will always consider adopting before all else, it certainly isn’t a coincidence that the most educated refuse pet stores.  Breeding has resulted in so many god damned problems, I’m certain you’ve heard of the feather duster budgies caused by poor breeding or the numerous parrot hybrids, while pretty they serve no purpose.

I’m certain some of you saw this post going around featuring the feather duster budgies? Do you have any idea how many comments said “I want one”?  These birds are a genetic failure, their feathers keep growing and never stop until they die, they either die from overheating, they can’t breathe, they can’t walk to make it to food so they starve or are generally crushed under the weight.

The fact of the matter is that birds aren’t designed for this lifestyle, they are not domesticated they are wild they retain all that natural behaviour all those natural needs, they bite, they scream, they fly, they make a mess, they destroy things, they’re active, and demanding, the average person, and I’d go as far as to say a solid 70% of most bird owners, can not handle their care. How many times have you read “my bird won’t stop screaming”, “I’m considering getting rid of my bird”, “my bird won’t stop biting”, “my bird only likes one person”, “my bird hates me”, “i can’t afford this vet bill”, “I don’t want to buy a UV light or a filter”, a lot, right?

All of those problems happen because people didn’t do their research, they didn’t know how to handle the bird, how to react to the problems when they started showing up, they didn’t know what to look for they were unprepared for the care that they need.

The majority of birds from pet stores and breeders suffer, by the time they make it to 2 years old and they start acting like proper adults they get sent to shelters.  When they become adults they don’t take shit from anyone, they have 0 tolerance for your foolishness and lash out when you ignore their body language. People don’t want a bird that wants to be treated with respect, they want one that will sit there, do tricks, talk, and look cute when they want it to, they don’t want mutual trust, they want obedience and don’t want to work to get it.

I don’t care how good of an owner you think you are, once you stop blocking out everything you’ll see the damage the pet trade has on these birds and your mind will change.  It’s not a coincidence that the most educated or experienced will advise you against buying pet store birds or breeder birds and I sincerely hope you listen to them.

I know I will certainly never purchase a bird from a breeder or a store, I hope you won’t either.

Small-Clawed Drama

I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve been having lately.

As many of you know, I’ve recently (as of two months ago) taken a new magical name. It’s “Small Claws” and references the characteristics, personality, and general archetype of the Asian small-clawed otter. 

You can read more about them here. Because the personality of these creatures seems to demand it, I’m being more public with this magical name than I have my previous ones.

In terms of semiaquatic mammals, they are my favorite, and I’ve been researching them for a while now. They represent, to me, both my favorite traits within myself as well as nascent traits I’d like to develop. I honestly think that if daemons in the His Dark Materials sense were real, mine would be a small-clawed.

Anyways, I joined and liked a bunch of otter fan pages on Facebook. When I’m stressed, I trawl the web looking at pictures and videos of small-clawed cuties (and sometimes doggo memes, too, but mostly otters). The thing is, a few weeks ago (I think about a month, actually?) I started to feel weird doing this. 

Looking at cute animals is, obviously, soothing for a lot of folks. Most internet users do that, after all. Hence why pages like Puppers Unleashed exist. 

The thing is, with this, I’d run across an otter video showing a small-clawed scampering around someone’s house, and it wouldn’t feel fun, cute, or soothing at all. I’d have this really uneasy feeling. I couldn’t figure out why, but there was something creepy about these videos, and again, couldn’t put my finger on it.

I am putting the rest of this behind a cut because it could be disturbing to some readers, and understandably so. What I’m about to write about was incredibly disturbing to me, too, but I feel the need to get it out. Be sure to check the tags on this post, too - don’t read this if it will ruin your day.

Keep reading

Animal jam is bad
  • Trade glitch scam + item duplication glitch ???????? right after the other 
  • Pets glitching onto trade lists

  • New animals are poorly fucking designed with stray pixels in most of their patterns + glitches
  • ECONOMY BROKE
  • cringey youtuber jammers and mail time exist
add to the list ploz

Crustacids are a communal race of aquatic beings.
Considered primitive by many other aquatic and land races alike the Crustacids, at one point, were actively enslaved. Their young even sold into the pet trade.
Yet the Crustacids were eventually emancipate, to a large extent, and managed to position themselves as an asset of trade between land and sea with the unique ability to navigate both terrains.  

While not equipped with a verbal language of their own they have adopted the languages of various races they’ve interacted with. Communication was primarily spoken through body language and subliminal signaling of their antenna. Another unique form of communication is their intricate carapace designs. Each one is unique and elaborately explains the life and lineage of said Crustacids. This tattoo will be continuously added to throughout their lives and at their death will be placed within the communal burial grounds.  

anonymous asked:

What would you tell a complete beginner? I want to get a snake, but I don't know that much. What should I keep in mind?

Hello anon,  good luck with all your snake research!  Finding out as much as you can before getting the animal is probably the most important thing. I can give you a few tips others may want to add if i’ve missed obvious stuff!

1) First consider if you accommodate a snake in your life?  How much space can you dedicate to the adult enclosure? Are you on a tight budget when it comes to equipment costs? Is there an exotics vet near you? Are you prepared to cover these costs? Are you prepared for their long life expectancy?   

2) What do you want out of a snake? I would really recommend looking into species that are easy to feed and care for or species that are slightly more tolerant of the “beginners errors”.  But ultimatley you will be caring for your pet a long time as snakes are long lived. So assess want you want from a snake and get a species that should fit in to this…eg)  Is it important you can handle the snake? Do you mind if they may be bitey as hatchlings? Do you mind if they are known for defensive behaviours? Do you mind if you never see them in the enclosure because they burrow or are nocturnal ? Do you want to be able to observe your snake during the day? 

Once you have an idea of your wants and importantly your limitations when it comes to space and money, 

3)  look into species that fits your wants and will thrive on your budget in the space you can provide. For a first snake I would probably advise to stay away from species that have reputations for being very hard to feed or fragile in captivity (or any very big/giant snakes). But as said above snakes live a long time! Find a species you are excited about keeping. 

4) When you decide on your species, find a good reputable breeder with healthy animals.

**- don’t bring it home until you have the equipment and set up all ready for it-**

Ask people that own the species you are interested in about good breeders, look for reviews on breeders, join species specific face book groups, ask questions about husbandry.  If the species you want is very common in the pet trade you might also consider adopting from a reputable reptile rescue center. Just speak to them and make sure you are getting a healthy animal thats an established feeder as your first snake. Many reptiles do just find their way into rescue by circumstance they are not always problem animals in poor health. Consider if you want a hatchling or an adult. Adults will generally be less fragile to care for and should have an established temperament which is an advantage.


5) Enclosure design! Gosh you will so much conflicting things on enclosure design. “ Too much space is scary for snakes (myth)”   “Tubs are fine forever for x species (they are usually not)” “ All you need is kitchen roll and a water dish and just plug in a heat mat! (no. It’s not that simple and you will always need a thermostat too despite what some keepers may say!)”  

It can be a bit of a mine field of misinformation, especially for people new to snake keeping. Assuming you want your pet to have the best quality of life possible that you can provide - look for tips, advice and inspiration from keepers who’s priority is the same!  (That is often not the large scale for profit breeders that advocate bare minimum husbandry.) 

Look at the natural history and behavioural ecology of the snake you decide on. Does it climb? burrow? bask in the sun? Spend lots of time in water? Is it a very secretive species? How does it hunt: activley or with sit and wait ambush tactics?  Does it come for dry habitat or humid habitats? What kind of micro-climates would it make use of ? Make sure your enclosure provides a comfortable and stimulating environment which allows your animal to express it’s natural behaviours and offers it a variety of choices.  Good enclousure design promotes both mental and physical well-being.  You can read more about why that is so important in this post here: 

 http://rainbowsnakes.tumblr.com/post/119229812584/environmental-enrichment-for-reptiles-what-why  

or other bits and pieces in my “ animal welfare” tag 

Don’t get caught up with just meeting the minimum, go for the best practice!  

Also, worth noting that good enclosure deisgn makes snake keeping soooo much easier. You don’t need to be battling to keep temps and humidity right in a fish tank with a screen lid and a red heat bulb (avoid the hell out of those red bulbs btw).. It adds an unnecessary complication to deal with as a beginner and won’t facilitate good conditions for the snake. (Not to say tanks are always bad for everything of course, they aren’t and can be modified to make good enclosures).  Generally if its your first time setting up an enclosure you will be better off with either a big tub (with the understanding that depending on the tub size and the snake it will outgrow this), plastic caging or a properly sealed wood enclosure.  Some pro’s and con’s in this post here 

 @teleos  post below is also a good starting point for basic enclosure equipment and costs; 

  http://teleos.tumblr.com/post/139609431246/just-for-funsies-lets-price-out-the-best-stuff  

Learn the difference bettween ambient heat and surface basking temperatures , (shown nicely in this guide by  @wheremyscalesslither )

 http://wheremyscalesslither.tumblr.com/post/146329971064/setting-up-your-enclosure-temperatures

Look to understand how this relates to different kinds of heat sources such as using conductive heat sources (heat mats) for basking temps or radiant heat sources ( ceramic heaters, bulbs, radiant heat panels) which can create both basking surfaces and raise ambient temperatures.  The way you heat an enclosure will affect the choices for thermoregulation avalible to the animal and thus how they utilise the space avalible. Shown really nicely by @skies-of-salt pics here. 

  http://skies-of-salt.tumblr.com/post/132730518123/visualizing-the-thermal-gradient-reptiles-are

Learn the basics of how relative humidity (RH) works. (ie warmer air holds more water vapour than cooler air). An enclosure with an RH of 70% at a cooler temp is not the same as an enclosure with a RH 70% at a warmer temp…Thus a snake that needs humid conditions may shed well and remain hydrated in the warmer  one and yet shed poorly and become dehydrated in the other despite the owners reporting their humidity is the same.

look at the different types of thermostats availble and which one is most appropriate for your set up and heat source ( on/ off stats,  pulse proportional stats or dimming thermostats). 

You can look into lighting, which is an often overlooked component of enclosure design when it comes to snake care in particular.   

https://rainbowsnakes.tumblr.com/post/160416002964/my-ball-python-has-got-a-che-do-i-need-a-light-i#notes

This might all sound like i’m overcomplicating things but honestly it will make choosing equipment for your species and personal circumstances easier, and you might be able to stop and question misinformation like  “lights suck moisture out the air”  if you understand those basics. For me, enclosure design is one of the most rewarding and interesting parts of snake keeping!   

6) As a final note : When you have one snake you might well want more!  

If I could go back and tell my past self anything about snake keeping it would be not get carried away with getting the animals I want to own too soon… Set yourself a maximum number of animals you can house according to “best practice” with the space you have and stick to it. 

In all honesty I got slightly swept up in the metric tonne of myths about small enclosures being “ just fine” myself when I first got in to snake keeping.  My snakes current housing is ok but its not as good as I would like it to be…I have plans for big enclosures for all my snakes but maybe if I was to start over I’d have done things differently and have fewer snakes  but get them in their final big enclosures sooner…ya live and learn. 

Good luck with your research.