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jkkFL On July - 9 - 2011

Love At First Sight

Is there a person who hasn’t visited a zoo, or watched a documentary, and said “Oh, How adorable, how cool, how awesome…I want one!

That would be me! I love giraffes, (and I’m 5’ tall -go figure!! :) ) I love tigers, manatees, lions, leopards, panthers, cheetahs, jaguars, and meerkats.

Would I Really bring one home? Never. That being said- there are those who will- and do.

“Fatal Attractions” is a ‘reality‘ show based on people who do, and pay the ultimate price.

If you have an aversion to ‘reenactments’ or occasionally, actual footage that illustrates encounters by people who have forgotten, discarded or refused the Laws of Nature, this is probably one series you’ll want to avoid.

‘Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My’ – is just the beginning.

There is no explaining the animals people ‘adopt’. No holds are barred. If it walks,  slithers, roars, snarls, howls, growls, stings, squeezes, bites, dismembers, or decapitates- it is someone’s pet.

Here in Florida, we have a huge problem with ‘non-native’ species. People buy exotic ‘pets’ and when they outgrow the owners’ ability or capacity to contain, or feed them, they drive to the Everglades or swamp and dump them.

To really understand our problem you can refer to this website:

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_animals_state.php?s=fl#68A-6.002

I don’t know if the heat affects people’s minds, or if they are just unwilling to develop normal relationships, but Floridians- and transplants, seem to feel that if they ‘love’ it, it will ‘love back’ no matter what the ‘nature of the beast’ actually is.

One genius even imported hissing cockroaches: one of the largest species of cockroach, reaching 2–4 inches at maturity. They are from the island of Madagascar off the African coast, where they can be found in rotting logs. They have a lifespan of 5 years in captivity. Anyone who has ever been to Florida knows there is no shortage of cockroaches, however we have politely renamed them ‘Palmetto Bugs’.

Cultures also contribute to animal issues. There is seemingly no limit to types of “religions” and ethnicities who use animals in ‘worship,’ or practices of a more sinister nature. Florida is rife with witch doctors, voodoo practitioners, snake handlers (religious and non-religious), alligator wrestlers- and other odd homosapien/animal beliefs. Carl Hiaasen has several humorous books on the subject. I highly recommend any of them.

Non-native snakes, lizards and monitors are so rampant in the Everglades they are actually affecting native wildlife- even gators! Florida Fish and Wildlife has organized groups of snake wranglers to try to get a grip on the exploding populations. Rarely a week goes by without some creepy story about a non-native animal creating havoc in a neighborhood.

Now, before you shake your head and mutter something about wierd people in Florida, just know We aren’t alone!

Fatal Attractions has chronicled people everywhere who have this skewed outlook. Probably some even live in your state- maybe your neighborhood!

For those of you who refuse to watch television, Animal Planet has conveniently placed the episodes on their website. You can watch your favorites in private, and keep the kids, (and ferrets!) from being exposed to shows they definitely should not see.

Check out: http://animal.discovery.com/videos/fatal-attractions/ (You might not want to watch them alone, however. A strange noise in the house could turn you into a quivering lump of chicken!)

Written by jkkFL

*Colts fan *Cubs fan *Rays fan *Sports fan! ...and Permanent Planet Resident ;)

27 Responses so far.

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  1. ADONAI says:

    I don’t think you should ever take a wild animal as a pet. It’ll never be a “pet”. It’s easier if you get them very young so they form attachments but there’s still danger as they get older. Most wild animals(talking mostly mammals here) don’t recognize a “family structure” when they get older. Instincts and a need for a solitary life will outweigh your best intentions. Not every big cat is the same. Not every Canidae.

    I get the attraction though. For some people I think it’s just something for them to show off. I have an affinity for wolves because of what they are. Free. It sucks growing up surrounded by the beauty of nature. Knowing that, as a human, you aren’t part of it anymore. There’s a feeling that this is where you belong but you know you can’t go. You’d never survive. And, if you did, it’d probably be a life of solitude. We aren’t built that way.

    That’s why I don’t like the idea of caging wild animals. Even at zoos. It’s not what they are and it never will be. It’s not right to take away their freedom. They don’t belong on our world. Any more than we do in theirs.

    • jkkFL says:

      ADONAI, while I agree- the animals are disappearing at an alarming rate. We can’t trust people to honor the code of ‘live and let live.’
      And at the rate of urban encroachment, where are the animals to go?
      My hometown zoo, (The Indianapolis Zoo) has received many awards for their breeding programs- they are trying to increase the numbers of endangered species, not for zoos, but ideally, to repopulate wild areas. They are one of the wildest zoos I have seen. Tigers are fed by having to chase their food along a zipline structure; bears have to find their food in several hidden areas, as well as in a stream.
      They work tirelessly to keep the animals as wild as they can- and to keep them alert and challenged.
      Not the best- but perhaps a better idea.

      • ADONAI says:

        jkk, I don;t view extinction as a bad thing. It’s a natural part of the world. I do like those big natural zoos though. I have to admit that. They do try to respect their freedom.

        But animals will die out. Animals we love. It’s arrogant to think we should try and stop it. This is how it goes. People will say, “Well we’re directly contributing to some of the extinctions by our own actions”. I would say probably so. And I would also say we are not the first or last species to do that.

        I love nature and I have more respect for it than most people I know. But humans will expand. Like many species. We will work the environment to suit our needs. Like many species. Animals will go extinct, as they have before. It is not up to us to decide which animals live and which ones die.

        And keeping them confined does not strengthen their species. It does not change the fact that their world is disappearing. It does make me sad. But I also know that, for now, it is how things must be. I don’t like it any more than you do. Leave them be. Let them enjoy what they have before it’s gone. We have no natural predators. We will expand til we can’t expand anymore. Then we join the extinction list and a new animal takes control of the planet.

        • jkkFL says:

          ADONAI- I defend your right to think it’s natural progression- but I totally disagree.
          I will go out fighting for Tigers, wolves, Florida panthers, lions, whales and polar bears.
          (and the occasional jackass!)

          • ADONAI says:

            jkk, That’s admirable. But it is nature. 99% of everything that has ever lived is now extinct. We owe our existence to extinction.

            If we preserve these species, that’s great. More than great. I love them too. But if we don’t, it’s not evil. It’s not wrong. It’s just nature. A sad part of nature, but still nature.

            • jkkFL says:

              @ADONAI- never was it my intent to belittle or criticize you-so please don’t think that was my intent.
              I just feel that these amazing species at least as much right-(or more,) to a piece of the earth as humans..

            • ADONAI says:

              jkk, I cannot argue against you anymore. I feel like an asshole.

              But we can’t save them all. Not if we continue to expand.

            • jkkFL says:

              ” It’s arrogant to think we should try and stop it. This is how it goes.”
              It’s only how it goes- if we sit back and let it happen..

        • We prey on ourselves, we don’t need natural predators.

  2. Khirad says:

    Any accounts of Javalina ownership?

    I’d be laughing my ass off at someone that stupid.

  3. escribacat says:

    Jkk, I have volunteered for the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado — they are packed full of lions and tigers and bears, plus wolves, coati mundi, lynxes, panthers, and other formerly wild critters — every single one of them rescued from captivity. They will tell you there are more tigers in captivity in Texas than there are in the wild.

    Last week I got to meet a couple of wolves who were born in captivity. They live at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation. Their parents were rescued from another “rescue” facility that was abusing the wolves with beatings and duct taping their snouts. (grrr). These wolves were fascinating. Here’s a picture of a volunteer there, playing with his buddy:
    [img][/img]

    And here’s a cool sign they’re planning to sell in future:

    [img][/img]

    • Khirad says:

      I can understand the coatimundi. They’re way cute. They’re supposed to be around here, but I’ve yet to see one. Not that I think it’s a good idea to have one as a pet, but I can understand it.

    • jkkFL says:

      e’cat, gotta Love that License plate!! Be sure to keep us posted on it’s availability.
      I am always amazed at people and their interactions with wild animals. Who would have the nerve to tape a wolf’s snout?? Don’t they even consider the possible consequences of their actions? If nothing else, I would be afraid I might me the main course for lunch, when it came off.. Just occurred to me- with all the activity surrounding duct tape these days, perhaps we should consider permitting it like guns.
      The current uses certainly are extending far beyond sealing household duct work..
      Again, this week; we have a trial starting- of parents who didn’t feed their python for a month, it got out and killed their 2 year old..
      Perhaps 2 year olds should be added to the endangered species list here in FL.

      • escribacat says:

        Jkk, Like most, I can’t believe the verdict in that trial. Stunning.

        • jkkFL says:

          The only comfort I can find- all the money deals, so far, have been rescinded due to outside pressure; (even the porn deal!! go figure!)
          And.. she truly has no place to go, right now..
          If both continue- there may be some justice in that.. but I doubt it will.

          edit: she said the other day in an interview she would love to adopt!!!
          I’m thinking that aye aye would be perfect!

  4. whatsthatsound says:

    Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…[img][/img]


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