People seriously underestimate the impact the media has on notions of pet ownership and what people can handle in animals.
Books, movies, TV, and internet videos from Youtube, Instagram, and The Dodo often show animals in their best moments, or even acting because they’ve been trained to do certain tasks (or are animated as humanlike characters). The fact is that the vast majority of people, even those who already have pets, have a very low or nonexistent level of animal literacy; what they take away from that kind of media oftens turns into “I want that animal as a pet.”
People who watched Finding Nemo created an explosion of demand for clownfish and blue tangs; Harry Potter, owls; 101 Dalmatians for dalmatians, etc etc etc. When the decision to get a pet modeled after the cute, photo-ready animals seen on a screen is made, there is zero consideration as to whether or not their needs can be met and if people can actually handle them.
Media featuring animals inevitably creates a boom of abandonment and huge environmental impact precisely because people who were in over their heads and acted purely on a whim got their dose of reality, and it’s incredibly heartbreaking to have to see the news detailing such cases. These are just some examples:
Yearly reminders have to be passed around telling people not to buy rabbits on Easter unless they’re committed to actually taking care of them
Thousands of dalmatians were abandoned when families discovered that they are very energy intensive, broody work dogs that are not suited to families with small children, unlike the cuddly Perdita and Pongo
Similarly, huskies and malamutes were surrendered to shelters when people realised they are not loyal Westeros direwolves
Entire ecosystems in Europe and southern Asia lost valuable apex predators when people began poaching them to sell to fans who wanted their own Hedwigs and Errols, and again abandoning them en masse when they discovered owls are highly aggressive, loud, messy, and nocturnal
Japan imported thousands of North American raccoons after the release of the Disney movie Rascal, people let them loose in the wild, and Japan now has a problem trying to figure out what to do with their enormous pest population that has no natural predator in place to control their numbers
Pacific Reefs suffered greatly when people demanded to have clownfish and blue tangs as pets, especially considering they were caught by being stunned with sodium cyanide, which, additionally, severely damages coral as well. NatGeo estimates that up to 90% of tropical fish imported by the US are caught by way of cyanide fishing; this often ends up for naught as these fish are often flushed down the toilet or released to the wild in other ways, which is also why the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are under threat by voracious invasive species like lionfish
The gist is that the media perpetuates this cycle of people reading about or seeing animal characters, demand is created, people impulse buy those animals, and then leave them for shelters to care for or release them to the wild when they get a rude awakening and find they’re actually unable to deal with those animals.
This isn’t even counting other animals like “mini” pigs, chihuahuas, snakes, foxes, etc etc etc. And we can’t exactly blame this on over enthusiastic children when it’s adults who have the purchasing power to buy a pet, and who choose to do zero research, and who choose to indulge said children or even themselves when that I Want the TV Animal as a Pet urge comes on.
Ignoring what is essentially weaponised cuteness used for online likes is hard, especially when faced with such palatable stuff like that gif of the owl riding the tablet stylus, or the plethora of cat videos. But it costs very little effort to not only educate yourself on the needs of animals and to also not encourage a rapacious pet trade industry, but to communicate that to others so that, hopefully, we won’t have to see things like Peter Dinklage and Jo Rowling having to make statements to the news because of this problem.
Human towers formed by ‘castellers’. La Mercè festival, Barcelona, 21st September 2013. The
aim of the Castellers is to build a human tower and have a young child
climb to the very top of the tower and stand up. It requires a
tremendous amount of planning and teamwork to build a human tower and it
is quite an amazing sight to see.
Nemean Lions (named Golden Lion or War Lion in Mythika) are powerful hunters with very tough skin which is almost impossible to pierce with normal weapons. Their manes are covered with arrows and the weapons from their victims.
Akheilos / Amphisbaena / Anteros / Argus / Cacus / Centaur / Cerberus / Charon / Charybdis / Chimera / Chrysaor / Dactyl / Echidna / Empusa / Erinyes or Fury / Faun or Satyr / Gorgon or Medusa / Harpy / Hekatonkheires or Hundred-Handed One / Hippocampus / Hydra / Kampe / Karkinos or Cancer / Ketos or Cetus / Ladon / Lamia / Lampad / Makhai or War Daemon / Minotaur / Narcissus / Nemean Lion / Nosoi or Pandora Box / Phobetor / Scylla / Sphinx / Thriae
Aegipan or Capricorn / Aetos or Caucasian Bird / Antaeus / Arachne / Celedon / Circe / Cyclops / Dryad / Erote or Cupid / Erymanthian Boar or Dire Boar / Eurynomos / Gegenees / Geryon / Graeae or Stygian Hag / Griffon or Griffin / Khalkotauroi / Maenad / Mormo / Pytho or Delphyne / Scorpios / Skolopendra / Spartoi / Stymphalian Bird / Symplegades or Planctae / Talos or Bronze Colossus / Teumessian Fox / Triton / Typhon / Zelus
Fenrir are said to be ancestors of all canine species, and in Mythika they are among the most powerful, only Cerberi stand a chance. Their skin is riddled with ice crystals and their breath is cold as winter.
Berserker / Draugr / Fafnir / Fenrir or Fenris / Hraesvelgr / Jormungandr / Jotunn or Frost Giant / Nidhogg / Svartalfar or Dark Elf / Troll / Valkyrie
CELTIC MYTHOLOGY / WESTERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (English, Welsh, Manx, Scottish, Irish, Breton and Arthurian)
Tatty Bogle are evil animated Scarecrows which can control birds and animate objects they touch. It is said that they are created by evil Hags which use the hearts of humans and the soul of a bogeyman to animate them.
Afanc or Addanc / Alp-Luachra or Joint Eater / Ankou / Awd Goggie / Banshee / Barghest or Black Dog / Boobrie / Brobinyak / Brollachan / Brucha / Buggane / Cirein Croin / Cu Sith / Cwn Annwn / Dullahan or Headless Horseman / Fachen / Fear Liath or Grey Man / Fomorian / Gancanagh / Grindylow / It / Jack-in-Irons / Kelpie / Knucker / Lavellan / Leanan Sidhe / Marool / Muirdris / Nuckelavee / Phooka or Pucca / Questing Beast / Rawhead or Bloody Bones / Redcap or Dunter / Shellycoat / Sianach / Sluagh / Spriggan / Springheel or Spring-Heeled Jack / Stray Sod / Tatty Bogle / Water Leaper or Llamhigyn Y Dwr / Wizard’s Shackle or Burach Bhadi
Arkan Sonney / Black Annis / Bluecap / Bodach / Boobach or Bugaboo / Bugbear / Cat Sidhe / Cath Palug / Ceffyl Dwr / Clurichaun / Curnunnos / Dobhar-Chu / Far Darrig / Fear Dorcha / Fear Gorta / Gwyllion / Kilmoullis / Leprechaun / Lunantishee / Ly Erg
EASTERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (Slavic, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Lithuanian and Serbian)
Combining the most feral features of both wolves and dragons the Zburator is a nocturnal hunting dragon that unlike most other dragons hunt in packs, they mostly hunt for other dragons.
Aitvaras / Bagiennik / Bauk / Bukavac / Fext / Hala or Ala / Karzelek / Kikimora / Leshy or Leshii / Lich / Moroi or Vampire / Nocnitsa or Night Hag / Planetnik or Demon Storm / Poludnica or Lady Midday / Shtriga / Veela or Vila / Vodyanoi or Vodnik / Zburator / Zirnitra / Zlatorog or Goldhorn / Zmey or Gorynych
SOUTHERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (Spanish, Basque, Maltese, Sardinian, Italian, French, Swiss, Austria, Cyprus and Medieval Greek)
Every year the scales on a Cuelebre’s body become harder, until after a 1000 years they reach Adamantium hardness, once they reach this age they are almost impossible to destroy with normal weapons and most spells will simply bounce of their shimmering iron scales.
SOUTH AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY / FOLKLORE / CRYPTIDS (Brazilian, Chilean, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Patagonian, Surinam and Argentina)
Cherufe are the voice, will and mobility of a living volcano. They can take any shape they like but are always formed from lava and magma. Inside their volcanic homes these elementals are invincible, only outside the volcano the creature can be slain.
Sak are strange, wingless Griffons with a beautiful lotus flower on the end of their tails. This lotus flower releases a calming fragrance which takes away aggression in its victims. Sak love the flesh of Unicorns and other equine creatures.
Ammit or Devourer / Khepri / Petsuchos / Sak / Salawa or Set Animal
CHINESE MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE (China, Chinese Stories)
Xiao or Hsigo are kleptomaniac pests, they steal for the act of stealing and even attack other creatures to rob them of their possessions, especially gemstones and golden coins are wanted by the little thieves. Their leaders are called Ahools and they combine baboons with bat features.
Dijiang / Gaki or Preta / Kun Peng / Shen or Chan / Taotie / Terra-Cotta Warrior / Xiao or Hsigo / Xing Tian / Zhenniao
AUSTRALIAN MYTHOLOGY, CRYPTIDS AND FOLKLORE (Australian, Aboriginal and New Zealand)
Tiddalik suck up water and spit it at great force at their prey, putting them off balance and turning them into easy prey to swallow. There are also jungle variants of the Tiddalik which shoot with poisonous water and which look like giant mutant poison-arrow frogs, they can climb in trees as well.
FEARSOME CRITTERS (North American Lumberjack Stories, Cryptids)
Argopelters live high up in the treetops where they use their bizarre tentacle-like arms as whips, they also use them to throw wood-splinters which hit their enemies like bullets, often instantly killing their prey.
Rat Kings are bizarre beasts which appear like a swarm of rats which tails are all tangled together into an impossible situation. These swarms of rats have a single mind and their diseased aura will cause the pest into any creature that lives close by.
Apocalypse Locust / Chupacabra / Death Worm / Gray or Dover Demon / Mad Gasser / Morgawr / Mothman / Ooze / Rat King / Tooth Fairy / Wolpertinger / Zombie
Beelzebub / Behemoth / Bloody Mary / Boo Hag / Cecaelia / Gowrow / Gremlin / Grendel / Guardian Angel / Horseman of Death / Horseman of Famine / Horseman of Pestilence / Horseman of War / Jack-O-Lantern / Jersey Devil / Leraje / Leviathan / Lusca / Poltergeist / Reptilian or Lizardman / Tree Octopus / Tulpa / Yeti or Abominable Snowman