July 6, 2008

Exotic pets, and more on Moe

Moe the chimp is still missing. The best-written take I've seen on the story comes from William Booth of the Washington Post:
Usually, a piece about an escaped chimpanzee is catnip to news editors, especially over a long holiday weekend. Like a good shark attack (or poodle-eating alligators or lurid panda sex), your missing-chimp story is a leafy green perennial of the news business. So here we go. Except. Except this is all sort of sad and disturbing.

Because maybe chimpanzees aren't really supposed to wear short pants and live in suburban houses with humans who treat them as their child. It never really ends well, does it?
Read the rest here.

Bethania Palma of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune takes a look at the trade in exotic pets — monkeys, big cats, alligators, wolves, bears:
"There's no such thing as domesticating a wild animal," said Carol Asvestas, director of the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas.

Asvestas said she currently houses 600 animals, including primates, bears, big cats and wolves, some of which were pets who injured their owners.

But in many cases, she said, owners simply realize they cannot meet the demands of the animal they bought as a cuddly infant.

She said often, animals are neglected or abused because their owner becomes overwhelmed[...]

Asvestas said she has taken lions and tigers out of cages so small they could not turn around.
Diana Guerrero of Ark Animal Answers has much more on the story of the escaped chimpanzee, and I agree with her that "due to the high numbers of rattlesnakes in the area–it does not look good." Poor Moe. I hope he'll be OK.

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