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woman pets wild bison

Discussion in 'United States' started by Arizona Docent, 22 Apr 2016.

  1. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  3. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Did the person who pet the wild bison die in the process?
     
  4. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    This reminds me of a quote on the possible re-introduction of wisent in the Netherlands, the question was whether the time was right for this re-introduction: "nature is ready for this re-introduction, but people aren't". They were afraid people would try exactly such things....
     
  5. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    We have the same thing with ponies in the UK in some areas. I've heard of wildlife groups having to feed ponies in reserves on rare occasions to prevent local people trying to feed the horses under the misunderstanding that a horse in a field of grass and reeds has nothing to eat.

    Sadly for many people animals they interact with are tame and domestic and often behind a fence-line. They've just no understanding about wild animals and what they do generally relates to rats and smaller species. To them animals like bison are simply cows that look a bit different.
     
  6. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    There's a whole book about all of the people who have died at Yellowstone, many of the deaths were caused by human negligence or mistakes. Apparently people at Yellowstone try to interact with wild animals like bison all the time, it's so stupid. I guess part of it is that people take the whole "animals don't want to hurt you" thing to the extreme. It's true that animals are unlikely to attack for no reason... But they may attack for reasons that don't make a lot of sense to humans. If someone comes up to me and touches me, I won't stab him, but a bison might take it as a threat.
     
  7. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    We called them tourons.
     
  8. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I've met a distressing amount of people who think that a wild animal raised in captivity or even just around humans will make them super friendly and tame on the level of a domestic dog. (I've heard a lot of the people who pull this crap at Yellowstone assume the animals are friendly because they're around people a lot) When you hear about a person who gets an exotic pet they can't handle, there's a good chance this was the reasoning behind it. (shoot, a lot of people don't even understand how breeding changes domestic animals. I've seen so many huskies get rehomed because the owner is surprised to learn that a dog that was bred to pull a sled through several miles of snow is high energy!) You would think even a little bit of thought would dispel this notion. I mean, if any animal could be "domesticated" by being raised in captivity, we'd be keeping a MUCH bigger variety of animals as pets and livestock. Foxes and raccoons would be popular pets, you could ride zebras and giraffes at the fair, rhinos would have been used for warfare... Man, that would be such a cool alternate history.
     
  9. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    I think many don't realise that whilst some captive bred and raised animals are friendly they are:
    1) Often very limited in who they are friendly with and take time to get used to new people.

    2) Can be vastly stronger than a person and thus being with them is a high risk. Tigers and other big cats have killed keepers through no fault of their own because the cat is just so much stronger and more "rough and tumble" in its behaviour. Or something happens and the cat makes a swipe that another cat would avoid/survive but which a human can't (for a very top level beast we are surprisingly quite fragile!*)

    3) Language - all animals speak a language and domestic dog is not the only one; however its the one most people can speak and interpret. Thus when met with different animals it can be a huge challenge to try learning a new language - to see the subtle hints of anger/distress/appeasement/etc... Being unable to understand they can miss warning signs of events to come or can encourage behaviour that can turn bad because what they think is fun the animal doesn't. Sadly I've often also noted that many who interact with animals a lot often don't understand the mechanics of the language they interact with - animal language is a very new science and understanding [when it really shouldn't be] and I think there's a lot we still have to learn how to communicate with each other to really pass this understanding on (it also doesn't help that many who develop strong animal language skills are often those who do so at the expense of human social and communication skills and thus a lot of this understanding can go undocumented and without being passed on ]

    Wait are you telling me the rhino in the 300 film was not really there in the historical telling!!


    And we've got a husky and very much found out the same thing about the high energy aspect landing a good few in dog shelters; which is harsh on a dog that looks wolfy and thus everyone assumes its got a mean streak in it to be in there.

    They are indeed high energy but I also think that;
    1) Non domestic social breeds don't take to isolation well; thus some react very badly to being left at home alone; or take a very long time to get used to the idea [heck ours is fine now but she would seem to destroy certain things whilst we were out; not so much a mad rampage but more a - you've left me Ill break this thing of yours - or she was just bored ;)[

    2) They are not submissive/stupid/braindead. They've got a mind of their own and an independence of their own. People used to laid back cats or labs often find it shocking how smart other breeds or nondomestic breeds can be.

    3) Bouncy - huskies certainly never lose their bounce and I think other wilder animals are like this too. It's not just bouncy it an active higher energy and more in your face form of interaction that many people can't get on with.

    In the end most fashions in exotic pets are people wanting a cool looking pet; without really thinking about the difficulties of living with them. Sadly the media doesn't help because every time there's a film with an exotic animal as a pet that animal is always well behaved and outstanding [if not at the start then by the end at least]. So in some ways you can see how they get lied to by the media and then try for reality and find out its very different.


    *Although one could argue we've almost bred ourselves to be that way if you compare your average person next to a wrestler.





    EDIT - thinking on it a bit more I think another aspect; esp with wild animal interactions. Is that people who see other people raising and working with such animals assume that they are safe. That sane people would never work with a truly dangerous animal. Thus they assume the animal is thus very safe and whilst it could be deadly in the same way a horse can kill with a kick, they are pretty safe and its probably just don't stand behind it or something and you'll avoid all harm.
     
  10. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    I wish people would respect wild animals. I get a little peeved (to a fault really) at folks who feel they connect with them.
     
  11. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I have a dog that I'm fairly certain is a husky mix. A lot of people say she's beautiful, (cause she is, she's the prettiest, cutest dog ever) but I can't imagine there are many people out there who would be willing to put up with her. She has mellowed out a bit in her old age but she's still a lot of work, 15 years old and still energetic and bouncy. (even people who work with a lot of dogs can't guess her age, ha ha) The wolfy appearance is, alas, the thing that gets a lot of huskies in these situations. They're pretty dogs and plenty of people love the idea of a domestic animal that looks like a wild one, so they get it on looks alone without doing research.

    I think when it comes to small animals especially, people expect low maintenance pets that they can keep in a cage all day until they want to play with it.

    That thing you mention about film and stuff... I think it's more like lying by omission. People who have well-behaved exotic pets do a ton of work, and you're not gonna see that in a movie or a two minute long video on the internet or a cute photo on Instagram. (and even "well behaved" exotic pets will still often cause some trouble, which again, you're not likely to see) Of course, the irresponsible owners are still the ones at fault, you should never get an animal without doing research.

    Have you heard of the red stapler effect? It's when a movie (or other work of media) causes real life demand for certain goods, services, or activities. It happens quite a bit with animals and never to good results. Apparently bird sanctuaries in the UK had an increase in owls with the popularity of Harry Potter. 101 Dalmatians led to people getting and then abandoning/rehoming dalmatians, as like huskies, they're attractive but high maintenance. (they were bred as carriage dogs, after all) Finding Nemo, ironically, led a lot of people to seek out saltwater fish that they weren't prepared to care for. I really hope that Disney/Pixar releases some kind of PSA with Finding Dory to try and reduce the impact this time around.

    I think this is why pretty much every zoo I've gone to has made it a point to tell people not to get exotic pets. It's very easy for someone to see an animal being all chill or playful, or interacting nicely with a zookeeper or even a guest, and then think it's gonna be a good pet.
     
  12. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the "red stapler" effect is one that will go away; for many people films are often the first time they ever see these different animals and at the same time develop some form of empathy for them even if its missplaced. I think documentaries seem to avoid this because whilst they often tell a story (and I've noticed many these days are either jumpnig species to species really fast or putting together an emotional story about one individual/group) many don't empathise with them in the same way that they do with Dory or other film animals.

    I must admit considering how little we saw of the owl in Harry Potter it was a surprise to me that snowys suddenly became popular pets; for a short while. Then again Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hardly featured the turtles as turtles and yet everyone wanted to get snapping turtle pets.
     
  13. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's a big part of it. It's a lot easier to empathize with a talking character like Dory than it is with a normal blue tang. Same goes for pet owl Hedwig, all of those wizards look like they're having fun with their pet owls, I bet it would be so cool! The documentary portrays the animal as a wild animal, not a pet or talking character. But there are a few other factors that go in. One, documentaries rarely get mainstream popularity. A ton of people are gonna go see Finding Dory, but very few wildlife documentaries get even a fraction of that attention. And the few that do usually feature animals that are difficult or impossible to obtain/keep, like dolphins or elephants. Two, most of the documentaries that hit it big are focused on conservation or welfare. Even if a person in the US could obtain a pet bottlenose dolphin, watching The Cove wouldn't want to make them go out and do so, ha ha.

    I wouldn't say owls became popular, just a bit more common. (but certainly enough to get the attention of sanctuaries. 100 owls is certainly a huge increase from 6, but not enough to call an epidemic) If owls were easier to obtain, I'm certain we would have seen way more people trying to get them. TMNT also increased the popularity of red-eared sliders, people got more interested in turtles in general but red-eared sliders were already easily available and inexpensive. (also, apparently the series identified them as that species?) I've heard some people blame the franchise for the species becoming invasive in the UK...
     
  14. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't forget that zoos deliberately contribute to the "red stapler" effect, may it be by adding clownfish / blue tang tanks, snow owls etc to the collection or playing "I like to move it" next to the ringed-tailed lemurs (as recently witnessed at Cincinnati Zoo)...not to mention featuring 3D/4D movie adaptions such as "Rio", "Ice Age" etc. with rather questionable zoological merits on zoo grounds.