Buddy the Chimpanzee Killed In Nevada Because He Wasn’t Really a Pet

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” I have long been an admirer of Marc Bekoff & think he is one of the most brilliant minds when it comes to the behaviour & moral conduct of animals. I have asked for his opinion on several things, recently, Tony the truck stop tiger & was pleased to hear that he agreed with the majority; that keeping a lone tiger in such an environment is wrong on so many levels! Keeping exotic animals as pets is wrong, hence the post below. Read it, then listen to the audio video below, one of Marc Bekoffs & Jessica Pierce called ‘Wild Justice‘…makes you really think about animals & their capabilities!!

Animal Emotions -Do animals think and feel?

There’s a need for strong regulations against keeping exotic animals in homes
Published on August 24, 2012 by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in Animal Emotions

Wild animals are dangerous and should not be kept as pets. Consider the tragic story of C.J. and Buddy, two chimpanzees who lived in a home in Nevada. When discussing the need for regulations on the private possession of exotic pets in Nevada or elsewhere, it’s important to see the jungle for the trees.

C.J. and Buddy, the two chimpanzees who escaped from a residential Clark County neighbourhood in July, were treated as pets, but were and always remained highly sentient wild animals. In a natural situation, chimpanzees typically remain with their mothers, nursing, playing with siblings, and learning to forage until they are about 8 years old. A mother chimpanzee in the wild patiently teaches her young vital skills such as hunting, foraging, and using tools, as well as the subtleties of their community’s culture.

But the story of C.J. and Buddy followed a drastically different course: Born at a chimpanzee breeding facility in Texas, ripped from their mothers and sold shortly after birth, dressed in baby clothes and pampered as virtual children, C.J. and Buddy were propped up in front of cameras and thrust into the spotlight, and then, too powerful to handle after just a few years, eventually locked away in a backyard cage. Such treatment would drive a person mad and it drives a chimpanzee bonkers. We know that chimpanzees (see also) and other animals suffer from a wide variety of mood and anxiety disorders (see also and).

When you understand that an adult chimpanzee is many times stronger than any human and has the capability to crush bones with his jaws, you see the animal the Clark County officer was forced to shoot dead that fateful July morning when C.J. and Buddy ran amok. C.J.’s life was undoubtedly shattered as she watched Buddy, the only companion she had ever had, die, and it is because of this trauma that she likely acted out again, escaping two more times following her escape with Buddy.

Yet, it is only because of this tragedy that C.J.’s luck turned around, and she is headed to a sanctuary where she will make new friends in a more suitable environment. It’s the best outcome for her, but it’s a very rare outcome for most pet primates who are cast into roles as surrogate children or household pets. When pet primates reach sexual maturity and begin powerfully acting out many are locked away in a backyard or basement cages, dumped at shoddy roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, backyard menageries, or breeding facilities. These sentient, emotional, and intelligent animals, who can live to be 60 years old, often spend those years wasting away in a cage, slowly losing their minds. Others, seeking an escape from the profound and relentless boredom, make a mad dash for freedom, which, as was the case for Buddy, almost always ends badly.

And chimpanzees are not the only primates kept as pets who are capable of inflicting serious injuries; smaller primates also pose a significant danger. Even those individuals who have been subjected to painful tooth extractions can inflict serious bruising and break skin, and they can all spread parasitic, bacteria,l and viral infections. Macaque monkeys, popular in the pet trade, naturally carry the Herpes B virus that is often fatal to humans. Health risks are so serious that people in Canada who work with primates are not allowed to donate blood for fear of spreading known and unknown diseases.

There have been hundreds of dangerous incidents involving captive primates, many kept as pets, including the tragic story of the Connecticut woman (see also) whose face was torn off by her friend’s pet chimpanzee named Travis. Scores of children have been injured by pet monkeys, many requiring hospital treatment while worried parents wait to hear from doctors if they’ve contracted any infectious diseases.

Exotic pets still have wild genes

Travis was not a “domesticated chimpanzee” as a story published by the AP called him. This is a complete misrepresentation of who he was. Travis was accustomed to drinking wine and using a WaterPik to brush his teeth and while this may sound “cute“, asking a chimpanzee to do these things is an insult to who they are. In response to this story I noted that domestication is an evolutionary process that results in animals such as our companion dogs and cats who undergo substantial behavioural, anatomical, physiological, and genetic changes during the process. Travis was a socialized chimpanzee who usually got along with humans but not a domesticated being. He still had his wild genes just as do wolves, cougars, and bears who live with humans, and tragedies occur because these are wild animals despite that they’re treated as if they’re humans. To say there was no known provocation is to ignore this basic fact. Wild animals do not belong in human homes, they can be highly unpredictable (consider other attacks by famous animals on their handlers), and they should be allowed to live at sanctuaries that are dedicated to respecting their lives while minimizing human contact.

The Ohio Exotic Animal Massacre

Let’s not forget the massacre of exotic animals in Ohio who were released right before the man who lived with them killed himself. It took a public disaster and embarrassment over a lack of policy to awaken Ohio lawmakers. At the time the animals were released and killed, Ohio had no regulations concerning the keeping of exotic animals as pets but now they do.

Unfortunately, Nevada has set itself up for situations like the Clark County escape and even worse scenarios. Without restrictions regarding the private possession of dangerous wild animals, law enforcement officers will never know if their day will involve holding off a rampaging gunman or trying to stop a neurotic ape. Maybe the Clark County incident will help serve as an impetus for change.

As one of only six states in the nation without restrictions for private ownership of exotic animals, Nevada lawmakers are playing Russian roulette with public safety, and a pet chimpanzee might as well be holding the trigger.

Please contact Nevada’s members of Congress (see also) and ask them to change their laws.

Read the rest of this post here:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201208/buddy-the-chimpanzee-killed-in-nevada-because-he-wasnt-really-pet

Wild Justice; The Moral Lives of Animals (sample) by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce

Published on 25 Jul 2012 by 

A sample of the audiobook edition of Wild Justice; The Moral Lives of Animals, written by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce, narrated by Simon Vance, and produced by University Press Audiobooks.
More information about this audiobook is available here:http://universitypressaudiobooks.com/detail.php/109 

Abused exotic pets find final home in Minnesota

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NEAR SANDSTONE — Getting to the Wildcat Sanctuary is like trying to find a classified government facility. It has no publically listed address, takes at least an hour to get to from the nearest major city, and is surrounded by thousands of acres of farms, fields, lakes and hunting land. Once there, chain-link fences line the 40-acre compound, with signs warning “No trespassing” and “Not open to the public.”

“So many of them have been through a lot of abuse,” said Tammy Thies, founder and director of the Sanctuary. “We just want them to do what they were meant to do.”

Many come from living situations that may be indicative of thousands of exotic pets kept in homes, backyards and traveling exhibitions nationwide. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates there are 5,000 captive tigers in the U.S., compared to 3,200 in the wild in their native Asia.

Many exotic animal owners, Thies said, take on the cats and later realize they can’t keep up with caring for them.

“We (recently) got a call from people in Wisconsin who are in over the heads,” she said. “All these animals are together breeding, and unfortunately by the time the sheriff gets there, instead of 20 animals, they’re going to have 40.”

Some of the animals at the Wildcat Sanctuary still show signs of abuse and neglect from their previous owners, as well as hints of the black market exotic animal trade.

Tigers’ teeth have had to be removed after they gnawed away at their cages, while some arrivals show the effects of malnourishment. Other big cats are cross-eyed — a sign of in-breeding, Thies says — and many have been declawed.

“The problem hasn’t gone away”

The growth of the facility may indicate that despite a 2005 Minnesota law to restrict exotic animal ownership, people are still doing it — and aren’t always able to keep up with the animals.

“The law helped,” said Thies, noting that it shut down many of the state’s breeding operations. “But the problem hasn’t gone away.”

It has loopholes, and it’s not fully clear just who is supposed to enforce it. Exotic pet owners before the law took effect could be grandfathered in, so long as they registered their animals with the “local animal control authority,” according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

But just who is the “local animal control authority”? The News Tribune asked representatives from the Duluth Animal Shelter, Animal Allies Humane Society and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, none of whom could say who the authority was. The newspaper also asked the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, which is charged with overseeing parts of the law, and requested the number of exotic pets statewide. The agency did not respond to the request for comment.

Sanctuaries vs. ownership

Those developments are partly why the Sanctuary is starting a fundraising campaign, “No more wild pets,” Thies said.

Asked if anyone — even a responsible pet owner — should be allowed to keep a tiger, Thies says no; calling that person probably “one in a million.”

“We want people to see these animals for what they are — wild. And let them be what nature intended,” she said. “Most people that want a pet tiger, they don’t really want a pet tiger. They want a tiger that acts like a dog. It’s a false notion. What we’re trying to explain through this campaign is that’s not what they are. They don’t belong in your backyard. It doesn’t benefit the animal.”

Read the full article:-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/234592/

Police find abandoned house littered with dead animals

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A former Phoenix man has been arrested for seven counts of animal cruelty, police said Tuesday night.

Steven C. Hart, of 948 Shants Road, Jordan, was arrested on multiple class A misdemeanors after police found about a dozen dead animals in his former residence at 86 Cherry St. in the village of Phoenix.  

“The guy had an extreme amount of animals in his apartment,” said Phoenix Police Chief Timothy Chura. “When we got to the apartment all there was were the carcasses.

A two-week investigation began when a village resident went to the house to remove a couple aquariums from the front porch. As he was moving an aquarium, the resident discovered a dead animal in the tank.

The resident called Phoenix Village Police.

It was not until police arrived that the full extent of the animal cruelty became apparent. Officers found five dead exotic animals packed in garbage bags on the porch. Inside the vacant apartment, officers recovered more dead animals in the second-floor bedroom. Trash and animal feces had been thrown throughout the apartment.

It also appeared as if some of the animals struggled to burrow through a wall into the apartment next door, police said. The apartment has been declared unfit for habitation.

A subsequent investigation revealed that Hart and his girlfriend purchased a total of 68 animals and had kept them living together in the one apartment. Included in the list: one Great Dane, one Burmese mountain dog, two Australian cattle dogs, one red-nosed pitbull, seven cats, one Gannet African cat, 30 ferrets, four chinchillas, one red-tailed boa snake, two ball pythons, one coastal carpet python, two Iguanas, one armadillo lizard, two bearded dragons, one blue and gold macaw, two prairie dogs, two squirrels, one red footed tortoise, one leopard tortoise, one gecko, one monitor, one chameleon and two hedgehogs.
“We figure he moved out in March,” Chura said.

From the time Hart moved out to the discovery by a village resident of a dead animal in May, Phoenix Police received no calls about the apartment, he said. During that time, animal carcasses rotted in the apartment for weeks unnoticed.

“I’m not sure if they knew the magnitude of the number he had,” he said.

The police investigation later concluded that some of the animals died from neglect, while others died from starvation when Hart ran out of money to buy them food.

I don’t think he got them to kill them,” Chura said.

Hart did give some of the pets away when he could no longer take care of them. He buried some of the others on the property.

Hart will be arraigned in Schroeppel Town Court on June 13. The investigation into the animal cruelty case is ongoing and additional arrests are possible, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Phoenix Police at 695-2001. 

News Link:-http://palltimes.com/articles/2012/06/01/news/doc4fc578db1293b664293252.txt

Alleged abuse at GW Exotic Animal Park seen on tape

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There are more captive tigers in the U.S. today than there are in the wild throughout the world.

The popularity of exotic pets, such as tigers, lions, bears, even monkeys, has touched off a fierce debate between owners and animal activists.

Critics point to a recent tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio.

Five exotic animals were returned to an eastern Ohio farm earlier this month. It was a painful reminder of the day last October when owner Terry Thompson released 56 such animals before, police said, committing suicide.

Forty-eight of his animals were eventually killed by authorities concerned over public safety, pushing Ohio lawmakers to author a bill restricting private ownership of exotic pets.

Arguably, one of the loudest, most defiant voices on the front lines of the big cat debate is that of Joe Schreibvogel, owner of GW Exotic Animal Park outside Oklahoma City.

He’s had run-ins with regulators.

What is he standing up for?

“The American right (in the) Constitution to be able to own whatever I want to own, as long as it’s legal.”

State laws on private ownership of wild animals are all over the map.

GW Exotic is licensed by the federal government because it’s open to the public – charging admission to come very close to what Schreibvogel calls the largest “refuge” for “unwanted” animals in the world.

Rolling out over 54 acres, it’s home to nearly 170 big cats: lions, tigers, leopards, and about 800 other animals of every size and stripe, including camels and exotic birds.

He also runs a controversial breeding program, selling tiger cubs – only to zoos, he says – for up to $5,000 each and, at the same time, cross-breeding exotics like “ligers,” a cross between a lion and tiger, and even what he calls a tuliger, a mix of a liger and a tiger.

Does Schreibvogel have a background in zoology or veterinary medicine?

“I grew up a farm kid, and that’s pretty much my background,” he replied.

Over the years, GW Exotic has come under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for concerns ranging from “public contact with dangerous animals” to a “lack of physical barriers.

Armen Keteyian spoke with “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Erica Hill and Charlei Rose about the state of regulation of exotic animal ownership across the country, and about what it was like being so close to wild animals in GW Exotic Animals Park.

Records show that, in 2006, it had its license suspended for two weeks and paid $25,000 for “facilities violations”.

It is currently under investigation by the USDA for the death of 23 tiger cubs between 2009-2010.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, says, “If something does go wrong, it can happen on a scale and on a magnitude that we have not seen before in this country.”

The Humane Society was so concerned it recently sent an activist undercover into GW Exotics, posing as an employee.

“If he don’t want to walk,” Schreibvogel says as he’s seen in an undercover video smacking a cub, “smack him in the ass and make him walk.”

The undercover operative documented what the Humane Society calls alarming and abusive behavior.

Other undercover video shows a tiger being hit on the nose and a tiger being dragged on gravel.

In another incident on tape, a boy was suddenly attacked while interacting with a young tiger, and began screaming.

“Any person with any whit of common sense,” says Pacelle, “knows that large, predatory animals are going to lash out at people. That’s why sensible organizations say you have to keep people and dangerous wild animals separate.”

CBS News showed the undercover video to Schreibvogel, who charged the incident with the boy was “set up” by the Humane Society.

Is he saying the Humane Society would put a little boy in harm’s way?

“Oh, hell yeah, in a heartbeat,” Schreibvogel replied. “I am saying Wayne Pacelle would stoop low enough to put a little kid at risk to get his agenda, so he could continue to get money.”

Pacelle called that “a desperate and pitiful comment. Joe Schreibvogel has a history … of allowing private citizens, patrons, tourists to interact with his animals.”

Told that Pacelle had called GW Exotic “a ticking time bomb” potentially 10 times worse than Zainesville, Schreibvogel responded, “It is a ticking time bomb – if somebody thinks they’re going to walk in here and take my animals away, it’s going to be a small Waco.

Questioned about the highly emotive comparison by CBS News, he responded: “It’s a very powerful statement, because I have poured my entire life into what I do, to care for animals. Nobody is going to walk in here and freely shut me down and take my rights away from me as long as I am not breaking the law.”

Schreibvogel says he believes in regulation, but only in what he calls the “right” regulation, whatever that may be.

To see Armen Keteyian’s report, which has some of the undercover video, click on the video in the player above.

News Link:-http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57435200/alleged-abuse-at-gw-exotic-animal-park-seen-on-tape




Link to petition on  Care2 network   Petition on Change.org

We have all fought long & hard for Tony the tiger, I’m so grateful to all those that have signed & noted the numerous post’s.  Many people think Tony has already been moved to a sanctuary…BUT HE IS STILL AT THE TRUCK STOP…If Michael Sandlin has his way, Tony will go to live at G.W.Exotics…thats worse than where he is now!! A proper sanctuary doesn’t breed tiger cubs for photo shoot’s to earn money…G.W.Exotics does exactly that!!

Clearly this facility does not comply with the following sanctuary criteria as defined by The Captive Wildlife Safety Act:
• Must be a non-profit entity that is tax exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
• Cannot engage in commercial trade in big cat species, including their offspring, parts, and products made from them
• Cannot breed big cats
• Cannot allow direct contact between big cats and the public at their facilities
• Must keep records of transactions involving covered cats
• Must allow the Service to inspect their facilities, records, and animals at reasonable hours

Reference: http://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/CWSA_Factsheet.pdf

Ref: UAPPEAL & USZA –  sound very official acronyms don’t they… you will these on the G.W.Exotic website

UAPPEAL Is Just a Group of Exotic Animal Owners It is just an officious sounding name for a small group of exotic pet owners, lead by Joe Exotic Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic Animal Park, who have made it their mission to block any law that would restrict the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.

USZA Isn’t a Real Accrediting Body It is just an officious sounding name for a small group of exotic pet owners, lead by Joe Exotic Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic Animal Park, who have made it their mission to block any law that would restrict the private ownership of dangerous wild animals.


Ref: Please check out Joe Exotic below


Thank you

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