Wild-caught animals

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Nìmwey
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Wild-caught animals

Postby Nìmwey » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:00 pm

Since I believe some of you on this forum have legally wild-caught animals, and others might be really uncomfortable with this and would never buy such animals, I want to bring this up. Everything civil of course, we're all friends in here.

What are your thoughts on catching a legal quota of non-threatened animals, whether for pets, display in zoos, or etc?
Do you make a distinction on reptiles vs. mammals, or more intelligent animals like monkeys and parrots, aside from less intelligent birds and mammals?

This is all assuming, like I said, that the whole process is legal and ethical. No inhumane, cruel captures resulting in dead or suffering animals, but many people still find this abhorrent (I don't, I'm kind of agnostic, which is why I want to hear from others who won't just be in an echo-chamber).
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to acquire when we have land are camels, alpacas, wolves, coyotes or jackals, bobcat/lynx, striped hyena or aardwolf.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:18 pm

Pua was an import so from the wild. I'm okay with these imports when they get proper care to survive the transition and as you pointed out is legal. Even though Tamandua are not a CITES concern there is a quota(limit) on them so just a few are sent to the US and sometimes elsewhere each year. This has no more impact on the wild population than any other form of hunting, and probably less since regulated on how many, but the "victim" of the hunting gets to live and, hopefully in most cases, breed, in which case it will help with less needing to come from the wild in the future. And if an exhibit animal help educate about the species.

Now if a species is easily had in human care already then I am against going out and pulling one from the wild on purpose. Like someone posted in one of the fox groups recently looking to take a kit from the wild. This is normally an attempt to circumvent or ignore laws against having them. In a rare case one from the wild is legal but captive bred aren't(cuz can't be imported or something), then a bit on the fence about it but don't like the idea. If you can get captive bred don't think they should be taken from the wild except as a rescue, if legal.

I think over all taking from the wild should be avoided for pet only reasons for mammals. The change is harder on them both mentally and physically and will be harder for the person to manage unless pulled from the wild super young and bottle fed as sometimes done with Tayras. There is a higher chance of health issues in an animal from the wild as well. I think it's better if pulled from the wild for a bigger use like animal ambassador or breeding so future generations wont have to be taken.

Not against taken from the wild for pet only per se but not for it but if someone is prepared for the extra care and needs and work to tame then okay but kind of a waste if not used for breeding or education as well to give back. We wouldn't have the wide variety of species we have today if not taken from the wild, I've heard many fish are still wild sourced but cold blooded animals generally will adapt better since they wont be as stressed by changes. As an opposite example I just set a house mouse "free" and he seemed pretty shocked and horrified to be in this alien world of the wild. I don't think it's as big a deal for lizards and fish. They find food and get their needs met and they are content.

Summery
Pro taking for breeding or exhibit if not available from breeders.
Kinda neutral on taken from wild for pet reasons only if not available from breeders, assuming good care is possible and given
Con to taking from wild for pets reasons if available from breeders.

Much prefer wild caught critters serve a higher purpose. Pua has been an animal ambassador though our breeding plans fell through.

There are some cases where it is not ethical even though is legal(IMO) like importing pygmy anteaters because they simply do not survive in human care at this time, aside from a rare exception. If their care is figured out on the front lines of wild rescue to keep them healthy long term then I'd be okay with it too.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby Ash » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:05 pm

I guess for me it comes down to individual species. I ask myself, "what can a wild-caught @insert species@ offer us in captivity that we don't already have?" Sometimes it's cool colors that are found in the wild, and I think that's awesome to bring them into captivity. Sometimes it's a species that is hard to obtain in captivity. Sometimes to diversify bloodlines. I think it all comes down to purpose.

Thing is, laws don't distinguish between one person's purpose over another's in these cases. So if I wanted to bring in diverse bloodlines in, say, green iguanas (unneeded, but we'll roll with it), I think my purpose for diversifying the captive population is WAY better than that of a broker who distributes wild-caughts in pet stores. But the law can't distinguish between the two. So it comes down to personal responsibility. And the broker has his reasons too, so can't just judge people as a whole. It's individual reasons.

I'm going to get wild-caught aardwolves. They're not available in the private sector as of now, so that's the only place to get them. I would use mine for education and breeding. I personally believe this is a great way of bringing in wild-caughts.

All this being said, if a wild-caught animal can thrive in captivity mentally and physically, I don't see a problem whether or not it comes from the wild or captivity. I worry most about overpopulation in the private sector (green iguanas, ball pythons, etc) to the point certain animals suffer because of it. But at the same time we need healthy numbers.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:44 pm

How could I forget bloodlines? Yeah some species already in the trade came from a small pool of critters so have a small gene pool that overlaps and bringing in wild caught animals for breeders could really help diversify again.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby Nìmwey » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:55 am

Thanks, both of you, and I'd be happy to hear from more people on here.

I'm not just talking about pets, but public zoo and aquarium animals as well.
I'm kinda controversial in the whole cetacean debate, even on "my side" (pro cetaceans in human care, just as long as they're taken care of properly, like any other animal), because I'm not against wild captures.

People say it's worse for them (whales, dolphins) than for other animals, because they have such strong bonds. Well, so do many, many mammals and birds we keep. The other thing is that when they are pulled out of the water, they feel the weight of their bodies for the first time under quite traumatic circumstances. I get that, but it's temporary, and what I've seen from killer whale captures in Russia (not that I'm praising the general animal husbandry in Russia), is that the whales are put into containers with water, not placed directly on a boat like they were in the 60s-80s (killer whales were captured in the US and Canada from 1967-1976, Iceland from 1976-1989, then commercial captures took off again now in Russia in 2012).

I agree that with species that are easy to get otherwise, it's unnecessary, like there are 2000 bottlenose dolphins in human care. There are plenty to go around, and with their very good survival rates, we have a gene pool for breeding indefinitely. Belugas, over 200 (most of them are recent Russian captures in Asia - the American population will die out without new genes from Asia, whether importing wild-caught or future captive-bred).

Excluding the Russian killer whales, we have seven wild-caught whales alive today, none of them will breed again unless SeaWorld changes (and all but one of the five females are so old they definitely will not), and 34 captive-bred whales started from a total of 19 original animals, and in case SeaWorld continues with their breeding ban, only 14 of these original animals' genes will make it into the future (Loro Parque, Marineland Antibes and Japan, plus Morgan the rescue and possibly Kshamenk will be used in AI elsewhere, so make that 16).
It is nowhere near enough to keep a sustainable population going indefinitely.
So if we're going to keep keeping killer whales (I don't see why not, they are not suffering, aside from what the popular media wants to you believe, they are a species that thrives in human care, and we are constantly improving), we NEED new genes.

Then back in the day, in the 50s and 60s mostly, this was new and aquaria experimented with capturing many species from all over, and not all of them did well. Like narwhals for example. They all died within months, and they were all captured between 1968 and 1970. Back then pools were tiny, cetacean care was not advanced, and the poor narwhals were put into water three times what they were accustomed to (taken from 4 celsius, to 12 celsius). Some of these species that failed 50 years ago, might be able to thrive today. Especially species that are under threat could benefit from having small numbers taken into human care, and while they aren't endangered per se, even belugas, bottlenose dolphins and killer whales are going extinct in some parts of the world (again, the former two are numerous in human care already and we don't need to capture more now).
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to acquire when we have land are camels, alpacas, wolves, coyotes or jackals, bobcat/lynx, striped hyena or aardwolf.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby naja-naja » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:18 am

I own wild caught snakes. I think it really depends on the species. many animals such as invertabrates don't have any issues with adjusting to captivity, whereas mammals might become very stressed over it. The scenario has an impact as well, ranching native species so you own them and they're technically captive in large acerage but live basically wild is a lot different then capture and transport for complete captivity. Reasons come into play, as capturing an animal from the wild purely as a pet is quite selfish, but using that animal as a breeder for fresh genes or whatever is a different proposition. Family ties of animals are huge factor for me, it's easier to justify taking animals that are normally solitary than breaking up a family bond, not only does it affect the animal you've taken but also it's family in the wild. Where and how it's taken as well, going out into pristine habitat to capture is more ethically challenging than taking animals who's habitat has been disturbed by human activity and are at risk (i.e. taking them from farms, cities, plantations, roadside etc) What the capture is replacing needs to be addressed too. If adult female ball pythons aren't captured, held in captivity until they lay eggs for their babies to be exported, then instead will they end up killed and skinned? If there is no economic reason to protect their habitat for their survival, will it end up turned into agricultural land? There are lots of different factors at play and I think it should be considered on a case by case basis.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby Juska » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:13 am

Most saltwater fish you buy in pet stores in the US and UK are wild-caught. And being a former LFS employee, I can tell you that a lot of those fish are sold to people who have no idea what they're doing (you can thank Finding Nemo for some of that), and the fish die very soon afterward. So you have to remember that some of these wild-caught animals, even when captured and transported all that way in the most humane way possible...are just going to die the moment they reach consumer's hands. And since they're fish, no one really stands up and speaks out for their well-being. Cute fuzzy animals yeah, fish not so much.

On the other hand, I agree with naja-naja, it depends on the species. But in general I think taking from the wild should be limited, to a degree, to adding new genes to the captive-breeding pool and conservation/rescue.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby caninesrock » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:41 am

I'm not against taking animals from the wild if two conditions are meant:
A. The most important point is that they must not be an endangered or threatened species.
B. There are none or very few of the species available in captivity.

Taking endangered and threatened species from the wild would make them even more endangered and threatened.
Taking animals that already have a very large captive population (fennec foxes for example) from the wild is pointless when you could get captive born ones and not have to effect the wild population.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby Ash » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:42 pm

Well, in the case of fennec foxes actually wild-caught ones are still very important to widen the gene pool. There's so much inbreeding in the fennec fox community and it's not being carefully controlled at all. So for the fennec example I disagree with you.

Green iguanas on the other hand, ball pythons, parrots, red foxes, arctic foxes--those have very stable populations in captivity and are even overpopulated in the private sector.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby caninesrock » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:16 pm

Oh. I had no ideas about the inbreeding problems for fennecs. I just assumed they had a stable captive population because here in the South atleast it seems like there are a ton of fennec fox breeders, even more than the amount of red fox breeders. As far as I can tell here in the South, there are very few breeders of red or arctic fox for some reason and many, many breeders of fennec fox, where as it seems like the opposite is true for the Northern states.
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Re: Wild-caught animals

Postby naja-naja » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:44 pm

caninesrock wrote:Oh. I had no ideas about the inbreeding problems for fennecs. I just assumed they had a stable captive population because here in the South atleast it seems like there are a ton of fennec fox breeders, even more than the amount of red fox breeders. As far as I can tell here in the South, there are very few breeders of red or arctic fox for some reason and many, many breeders of fennec fox, where as it seems like the opposite is true for the Northern states.


Likely because the warmer outdoor climate is more conducive to keeping fennec foxes outside whereas arctics and reds might not be as comfortable, and in the northern states it's closer to the arctic and reds normal climate but too cold for fennecs. northern states tend to ban 'exotic' animals and southern states tend to ban rabies carrying native species.
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