|Purred: Thu Oct 20, '11 8:17am PST |
|Two more notes.
I am not particularly fond of the idea of hybrid cat breeds, like the Savannah and the Bengal. I suppose that, if someone really, really wants an exotic looking cat, it's better to go for one of these breeds than buy a tiger or lion. But breeding these cats is complicated, and since these breeds are in high demand, that means that there will always be breeders who cut corners in order to make a buck, selling animals who are health compromised or insufficiently socialized. And again, licensing differs from state to state, and country to country. The Cat Fanciers' Association does not recognize hybrid breeds, although The International Cat Association does; I'm with the CFA. For people who absolutely MUST have an exotic looking cat, I recommend the Ocicat, which looks like a hybrid, but is instead a very clever lookalike created by interbreeding a variety of domestic cat breeds.
And last: they had to shoot the monkeys, I read, because of the possibility that they were carrying Simian Herpes Virus B, which doesn't affect monkeys very seriously, but can make human beings very sick. At a glance, monkeys and chimps may look as if they pose fewer dangers to humans than lions or tigers, but do not underestimate either the diseases they may spread, or the injuries they can inflict (remember that awful chimp attack a few years ago?). I'm sure that monkey and chimp ownership is not regulated closely enough and that regulations may not be consistent or consistently applied. We have wild monkeys (macaques--the same ones that cary SHV) in Japan, and believe me, you don't want to get near them and their teeth.
I simply do not understand what it is that makes people want to own an exotic animal. If I really subject myself to intense introspection, I'm not even sure I approve of zoos. But at least a well-managed zoo keeps animals healthy and under control (happiness may not be guaranteed, however), and provides an outlet for people who feel they really MUST see a real-life tiger or whatever.
Too bad that it had to take a tragedy of these dimensions to really make people pay attention to the problems caused by exotic pet ownership, and the inconsistency and inadequacy of licensing laws.
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