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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Thought you 'otter' know ...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:42 am 
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...... that playfulness is not just for kids!

http://www.wimp.com/otterdog/


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:57 am 
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I hope all of the dog's shots are up to date .....

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:13 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:38 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Of course people know this, or rather, everyone should have an appreciation of zoonoses - that is, in its usual meaning, diseases that humans can get from animals;but the word is neutral and can equally be applied to animal to animal transmission of diseases, several of which have proved disastrous in the past. Animal-friendly, do you know, for instance , that (thanks to animal research) rinder pest is now eradicated in Africa? Before that, it killed not only cattle, but also wild ungulates. Distemper can infect the rare wild dogs, as well as seals. That is why I frown upon many tourist attractions of "meet the animals", from hand feeding in zoos to swimming with dolphins. We have no idea to what risk we are exposed, or the animals. But we may find out too late - several of the endangered big apes have picked up flu and polio rfrom visitors before restrictions were placed on distances kept, and face mask wearing may be required. Why do people who would tell their children to wash their hands after playing with the family pet, want to stroke a wild animal? Why do some people think they have this "special bond" with animals that means they can just move and interact with wild animals without risk (just recently, a keeper in Sydney zoo was crushed against a pole by a young elephant she had been caring for since its miracle birth - it was thought to have died in utero, but was born alive although weak - and according to newspaper reports, she claimed to have telepathic contact with the elephants. Now she may not not have claimed that, but sometimes, we get to close to what are very big and heavy animals of another world - their world, not thinking-like-a-human world, or that of humans who can never know what it is like to be an elephant. It was probably a sad accident but it is the mindset that can prove dangerous. I see it too with people and their pet horses - several hundred kilograms of living beast, you have to have an agreed set of rules to interact based on animal learning. I hope the zoo will invite a person like Andrew McLean who has been to Thailand to train elephant handlers in the principles of animal learning and behaviour, so as to improve training and safety and elephant welfare; but I digress). As a primate person, I often think how lucky we have been until now that the increasing contact between monkeys and people in Asia (and in Africa, where baboons may seek out people, as do Asian monkeys, because tourists will continue to feed them) that in visitors the easily fatal Herpes B infection of macaques is rarely seen; likewise rabies or tuberculosis (and in Africa, there is Ebola, and other diseases). Farmers and other people experienced with livestock know of the importance of parasite treatment, not only to protect a given species, but because cross-contamination of other species might occur (eg, between horses and donkeys). So in brief, I don't think it is endearing to see a dog and otter play, if that is a regular event, and even more so if one of them is a wild animal that can take whatever it catches, literally, back into the wild.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:16 pm 
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And kudos to people like Andrew Mclean and his non profit HELP. He's doing some much needed education for elephant trainers. May the "training crush" be a thing of the past with help from his organization amongst others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjs1r9Qra7k


Also, Lek, of Northern Thailand who has the Elephant Nature Foundation populated with "unemployed' elephants from the logging industry.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrsiGWC1mDY

http://www.elephantnaturefoundation.org/go/founder


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