Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Monkey Discovered in Brazil

The Brazilian Amazon is one of the few places on the earth that is relatively untouched by man.  Recently explorer, and biologist Julio Dalponte discovered a new species of titi monkey in this area.  This monkey had different markings on its face and tail than other previously know members of the genus, as such it was determined to be a new, previously unknown type of titi monkey.

Titi monkeys have a small body and long tail, which is not prehensile (meaning they do not use their tail to grip).  They travel by jumping from tree to tree and typically sleep at night.

Titi monkeys have been observed to be monogamous, mating for life.  The males have an interesting role in caring for young titi monkeys as they do most of the parenting, bringing the baby to the mother only for feeding.  They tend to live in small family groups.

Of course very little is known about this new species, which is actually one of several discovered since 2000.  Hopefully we can preserve the habitat for this animal, and protect it from being exploited in the pet trade.

You can read more about the discovery of the new titi monkey here at WWF's website.  The site does have a picture which I could not use as it is copyright owned by the photographer. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tips on Selecting a Pet Hamster for a Child

This basic tip guide is titled in regards to selecting a pet hamster for a child, but could also be used for any first time pet owner who is not experienced with hamsters. You will note that although hamsters are fairly common small pets, they are still considered to be exotic pets in most areas.

Before you rush out and get a hamster for your child, or yourself, there are a few facts to keep in mind.

Hamsters are nocturnal, they will be awake in the evening and night. They will want exercise during this time and that might mean running all night on a squeaky wheel, if this does not work for you, then a hamster is probably not a good pet to get.

photo source
The wheel is safe since the hamster cannot get his toes stuck, but it is a bit small.

Hamsters need a lot of exercise, as we mentioned above. They should have a large cage with extensive tunnel systems, or be taken out for a couple hours every evening to get their exercise.

Hamsters should be kept alone. Although some stores will tell you they can be kept in pairs, unless they are in a very large cage there is no guarantee they will not kill each other. Hamsters are typically solitary animals, best kept individually.

Hamsters do bite. If you are afraid of getting bitten, this is not a good pet to get, because at some point the hamster probably will bite. Bites are more likely to occur if the hamster is woken suddenly, but also if it is handled incorrectly, or not handled enough.

Hamsters from the pet store are more likely to bite than one from a breeder, shelter, or home. Pet stores typically get their pets from mass breeders so they are not use to being handled prior to arriving at the store, as such they are not tame.

Males tend to be slightly more docile and friendly than females.

For children it is important to note that the pets must be handled properly or can be hurt. Kids should be shown how to use both hands to hold their pet and never be allowed to pick it up by the scruff of its neck.

Hamsters tend to be fairly healthy when properly cared for, one of the biggest risks is “Wet tail”, which is fatal.

Hamster owners must check to be sure their pet has food, and water daily. The cage should be thoroughly cleaned every week (or less often if its a big cage), however dirty corner areas should be cleaned out more regularly.

The lifespan of a hamster is usually 2 – 4 years depending on the type of hamster, with the larger teddy bear ones tending to live the longest.

Further Reading

Which is a Better Pet, Hamster or Guinea Pig?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Suspected Extinct Rainbow Toad Found

A toad not seen since 1924 has been sighted at last and captured in pictures.  The Borneo Rainbow Toad had not been sighted in 87 years and was on the list of Top 10 Wanted Lost Frogs, when at last 3 individuals were spotted, and photographed by researchers who were specifically looking for new, or endangered, species.

The researchers forwarded their photos of the Borneo Rainbow toad to Robin Moore of Conservation International, who had lauched the campaign to find these little guys, and others, under the name of Global Search for Lost Amphibians.  The discovery is huge, but the location of the find will be kept secret.  There are concerns that the toads will be exploited in the Pet Trade, captured to be sold as extremely rare exotic pets.

The toads were actually discovered August of 2010, but the news was not released until recently.  Scientists had to be sure they had the right toads before making the announcement.  The Borneo Rainbow Toad goes by the scientific name of Ansonia latidisca and measure up to 2 inches long (51 cm).

Ambibians are very much under threat of extinction, with many species listed as Endangered or Threated.  Pollution and habitat loss are major threats to their survival.  Most people around the world are noticing that they are encountering frogs and toads (and other amphibians) in the wild far less than they did even 10 or 20 years ago. 

The pet trade is also responsible for some amphibian disappearances - people should be aware that in most areas it is illegal to catch, and keep, and wild animal, including frogs, toads, and salamanders.  These animals should be kept in the wild.  If you are looking to get a pet toad, frog, or salamander, it is always best to buy from a breeder rather than risk buying from a place that gets them from the wild.

To Read the story on Yahoo!News click here.
To See picures of the Borneo Rainbow Toad click here.

We at the cabin are thrilled at the rediscovery of this tiny being, and hope that their location remain a secret so populations can recover.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Snake Left in Apartment Turns on Water

On the morning of August 6, 2011, in Calgary, AB, basement tenants Christie and Wade Taylor awoke to the sound of running water in the suite above them, a suite they knew was vacant.  They decided to investigate and found a large snake in the bathtub.

Christie said that when Wade opened the shower curtain the "nine-foot snake jumps out at him.", but of course we all know that snakes cannot jump!

It turns out the snake was a very large Boa Constrictor, measuring 2.5 meters long and requiring six people to lift it.  The snake had been left by his owner who was moving out.  Owner Serena Dobmeier says she was on her way back to collect her pet snake when the problem occured.  The problem being that the snake managed to turn on the water in the bathtub.

You can read the full news story here.

photo - not the Boa in the story.

It is not unusual for people to leave unwanted pets behind when they move out.  Although Serena, in the story above, did say she was coming back for the snake, and not abandoning it, other people do leave their pets in this way - never to return.

The tenant assumes the landlord will find the pet and deal with it by taking it to the animal shelter.  Sadly this does not always happen.  Landlords do not always check vacated apartments right after a tenant has left, as such many landlords have found dead, or dying, pets left by their owners.  You may want to note that animal abandonment in this way is a crime in most areas.

Snakes and large lizards are often left simply because the owner has no idea what to do with them, other pets are left because the owner could not find a place that allows pets, or they simply no longer wanted the pet. 

A boa constrictor could certainly live longer in an empty apartment than most other pets, as they do not need to eat as often, however had this snake turned on hot water it could have burned itself very badly.

Learn what to do if you have an Unwanted Pet or Pet you Cannot Take with You