Posts Tagged ‘Reptiles’

Snapping turtle found in eatery’s sink

June 17, 2008

When Russell Dorm walked into the Panda Chinese Kitchen in York on Friday and spotted a live snapping turtle in the restaurant’s three-bay sink, he didn’t utter a sound.

“When I saw this turtle, I had to sit down and gather myself before I could speak,” said Dorm, York’s health and sanitation officer. “Nothing came out of my mouth.”

Typically, a restaurant’s three-bay sink is used to clean and sanitize utensils, pots and pans.

Housing a turtle in one of the bays represents a contamination risk. Turtles can carry pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli that could lead to foodborne illnesses, he said.

“I saw the turtle outside, and I tried to save its life,” said Andy Zhao, manager of the Panda Chinese Kitchen. “I put it in the sink first. It was wrong that we put it in the sink, that was my fault.”

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Cats trap endangered snake, local man warns neighbors

June 12, 2008

Charlie Stephens said his three cats surprised an eastern massasauga rattlesnake at his Port Huron residence on Monday.

“I happened to step out to get the mail and I noticed three of my cats were sitting in a triangle looking at the ground,” he said. “I thought at first they were watching some bird that they had found.

“I walked over to them and they were looking at this snake that was crawling through my front yard in the grass.”

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Large Areas Of Conservation Land Needed To Save Small Frogs, Turtles And Other Marine Species

June 12, 2008

Scientists were surprised with findings of a recent study that reveals many animal species believed to persist in small contained areas actually need broad, landscape level conservation to survive.

With more species at risk of extinction today than any other time in human history, the findings of the study published in the debut issue of Conservation Letters provides new insight into how to improve protection for many species worldwide. Scientists from organizations including Conservation International (CI) and BirdLife International identified appropriate scales of conservation efforts for 4,239 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

“The biggest surprise was the frogs,” said Claude Gascon, executive vice president for programs and science at CI, and co-chair of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group. “Amphibians are small animals, and many have tiny ranges restricted to a single forest or a mountain stream. But astonishingly many species – like the Critically Endangered Lake Titicaca Giant Frog (Telmatobius culeus) from Peru – are greatly impacted by ecological processes at the landscape scale.”

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Mom finds snake coiled on baby’s leg in crib

June 11, 2008

A Long Island animal shelter is a temporary home for a 1-foot-long snake that a mother found coiled on her 7-month-old daughter’s leg as the baby slept in a crib.

Cari Abatemarco of upstate Troy says she was visiting family in Brentwood last week when her baby’s cries woke her one night. She tells Newsday that she found a snake wrapped around her daughter’s leg.

Abatemarco says she lifted her daughter and the snake fell off. A relative removed the snake from the crib and placed it in a bucket until animal control officers arrived.

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Photo: Lizard Lounge

June 9, 2008

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Giant Flying Reptiles Preferred To Walk

May 27, 2008

New research into gigantic flying reptiles has found that they weren’t all gull-like predators grabbing fish from the water but that some were strongly adapted for life on the ground.

Pterosaurs lived during the age of dinosaurs 230 to 65 million years ago. A new study by researchers at the University of Portsmouth on one particular type of pterosaur, the azhdarchids, claims they were more likely to stalk animals on foot than to fly.

Until now virtually all pterosaurs have been imagined by palaeontologists to have lived like modern seabirds: as gull- or pelican-like predators that flew over lakes and oceans, grabbing fish from the water. But a study of azhdarchid anatomy, footprints and the distribution of their fossils by Mark Witton and Dr Darren Naish shows that this stereotype does not apply to all flying reptiles and some were strongly adapted for terrestrial life.

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Platypus Genome Explains Animal’s Peculiar Features; Holds Clues To Evolution Of Mammals

May 8, 2008

The duck-billed platypus: part bird, part reptile, part mammal — and the genome to prove it.

An international consortium of scientists, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has decoded the genome of the platypus, showing that the animal’s peculiar mix of features is reflected in its DNA. An analysis of the genome, published today in the journal Nature, can help scientists piece together a more complete picture of the evolution of all mammals, including humans.

The platypus, classified as a mammal because it produces milk and is covered in a coat of fur, also possesses features of reptiles, birds and their common ancestors, along with some curious attributes of its own. One of only two mammals that lays eggs, the platypus also sports a duck-like bill that holds a sophisticated electrosensory system used to forage for food underwater. Males possess hind leg spurs that can deliver pain-inducing venom to its foes competing for a mate or territory during the breeding season.

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Owners of exotic pets are a lot like owners of cats and dogs

May 2, 2008

Ask exotic-pet owners why they opted for pythons or tarantulas and you get … well, pretty much the same responses you’d expect from folks with more traditional pets.

Roy and Beverly Carlson were empty-nesters whose five children had grown up, and they were seeking humanlike companionship; enter Michael the pigtail macaque (a “monkid” in pet parlance). Gwen Hovde and Andrew Reddig switched to sugar gliders because they were tired of having hamsters die on them. Kaine Trondson used to be allergic to cats and soon took a liking to reptiles.

Another trait they share with those for whom cats and dogs reign: a disdain for irresponsible pet owners. The problem with exotic pets, they maintain, is not the animals but the people, irresponsible owners and breeders.

“That’s the way it is with every species,” Hovde said. “Pit bulls are great pets if they’re treated right. Same with sugar gliders.”

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Legless Lizard And Tiny Woodpecker Among New Species Discovered In Brazil

April 30, 2008

Researchers discovered a legless lizard and a tiny woodpecker along with 12 other suspected new species in Brazil’s Cerrado, one of the world’s 34 biodiversity conservation hotspots.

The Cerrado’s wooded grassland once covered an area half the size of Europe, but is now being converted to cropland and ranchland at twice the rate of the neighboring Amazon rainforest, resulting in the loss of native vegetation and unique species.

An expedition comprising scientists from Conservation International (CI) and Brazilian universities found 14 species believed new to science — eight fish, three reptiles, one amphibian, one mammal, and one bird — in and around the Serra Geral do Tocantins Ecological Station, a 716,000-hectare (1,769,274-acre) protected area that is the Cerrado’s second largest.

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T. Rex Protein “Confirms” Bird-Dinosaur Link

April 28, 2008

A new study of ancient proteins retrieved from a Tyranosaurus rex fossil confirms the long-hypothesized evolutionary connection between dinosaurs and modern birds, experts say.

The finding is the first molecular evidence that birds, not lizards or other reptiles, are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs, the researchers note.

A close relationship between the two groups was already widely suspected, based on similarities in skeletal features.

The new research follows a breakthrough study last year in which scientists reported the recovery and partial molecular sequencing of T. rex and mastodon proteins.

Click here for the full article.

County Board to Consider Narrow Prohibition on Snakes as Pets in Arlington, VA

April 24, 2008

County Board members on April 22 started a process that could see poisonous snakes outlawed as pets across Arlington by summer.

But, at the same time, board members backed away from a broader ban on owning exotic or potentially dangerous pets, saying more study was needed.

Board members voted 5-0 set a May public hearing on changes to the county code to outlaw venomous pets as snakes.

“In our urban environment, venomous snakes, venomous reptiles are not appropriate,” County Board Ron Carlee told board members.

If the ban is enacted in May – as appears likely – owners of such pets would have at least 30 days, perhaps more, to find new homes for them.

The prohibition also would apply to poisonous reptiles other than snakes, such as gila monsters, but county officials say there is no evidence any such reptiles are being kept as pets in the county.

Under the legal language to be considered next month, possession of a poisonous snake or reptile would be considered a misdemeanor offense, but individuals could be charged with separate counts every day an animal is kept in violation of the adopted ordinance.

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Watching pets pays

April 14, 2008

On days when Melanie Lehman can’t come home from work for lunch, she’s comforted to know pet sitter Deb Oerman will be at her Mount Wolf house to take care of Thunder, a 12-year-old Doberman.

Oerman, a York resident who also raises seeing-eye puppies, works part-time as an independent contractor for Pets Plus LLC. The company provides care for dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles other small animals and farm animals, including horses.

“Most pets are pretty glad to see us,” Oerman said. She also said she enjoys caring for pets and the income she gets for doing the work.

“I’m really glad this can be an option for me.”

So is Lehman.

“It makes me feel a lot better,” Lehman said. “The cost is reasonable, especially for the peace of mind.”

Click here for the full article.

Reptile Business Booms As Demand Increases For Unique Pets

April 11, 2008

When we hear the word ‘pet’ most of us conjure up images of finicky felines asserting their independence or fiercely loyal dogs taking on the dual roles of protector and best friend.    But more and more people are choosing less conventional creatures to cohabitate with.  Whether it’s Satanic Leaftail Geckos, Flying Tree Frogs, or slithering Pythons, reptiles and amphibians are no longer the feared curiosities that were once relegated to being used as props in heavy metal videos and horror film.

Grant Crossman can attest to the growing popularity of the unique and awe-inspiring critters.  His store, Port Credit Pet Centre, boasts Canada’s largest selection of reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids, many of which will be on display at the Ontario Reptile And Aquatics Expo, scheduled for April 13th in Mississauga.

“Reptiles are the fastest sector within the pet trade for growth,” Crossman explains.

“It’s the only department in North America that has shown double digit growth in the last three years.  Six percent of all households in the U.S. now own a reptile…in Canada it’s probably about 4 percent.”

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Financially overwhelmed owners abandon homes, with pets still inside

March 28, 2008

In the swank Country Club area of Anthem, Ariz., Barbara Ward-Windgassen’s rescue group has saved a bichon frise, Lhasa apso and shih tzu — some with their leashes still on — after their owners had abandoned them in their foreclosed high-priced homes.

She’s also helped find new homes for a rottweiler and pit bull that were being cared for over the fence by neighbors for nearly two months after the family left them in the back yard when their house was taken back by the bank.

Call it reckless abandonment. Shelters and animal rescue organizations across the country are packed cage-to-cage with dogs and cats, even birds and reptiles, that have been ditched or dropped off as scores of foreclosed-upon homeowners relocate. It is a disturbing trend and a sign of the tough economic times that has prompted a number of organizations to form hotlines for pet foster homes and to implore pet owners — or what the industry calls “pet parents” — to seek help for their animals before they head off.
“There are a lot of people who are just walking away and leaving their pets behind, which breaks everyone’s heart,” said Windgassen, the president of Anthem Pets, a nonprofit animal welfare organization in her community.
The number of abandoned pure-bred dogs in her neighborhood alone has jumped 10-fold just since Christmas. “It just boggles my mind,” she said. “It’s cutting across all income levels and age levels.”
Click here for the full article.

Reptiles abandoned at South African airport

March 8, 2008

Three animal transport crates containing endangered reptiles were found abandoned at Oliver Tambo Airport, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) said today.

NSPCA’s National Inspector Alistair Sinclair said the organisation arrived at Oliver Tambo yesterday after a tip-off and found five crates that were emanating a “nauseating stench”.

Two of the crates, that were destined for Spain, were returned to Madagascar because the transporting agent had not paid the duties.

The three remaining crates, destined for the Czech Republic, were taken to the Johannesburg Zoo and unpacked.

Sinclair said the crates contained “hundreds” of snakes, geckos, lizards, chameleons and arthropods, contrary to the consignment listing lizards and frogs.

He estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of the animals had died during the five to six days they had been in the crates and he expected more to die of dehydration during the following days.

Sinclair said the incident “again” proved that animal welfare concerns were not adequately addressed by the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa).

Click here for the full article.

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Newsletter from the Humane Society of the United States- Pets for Life: No pet left behind

January 20, 2008

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Moving On; Staying Together
As a foreclosure crisis looms nationwide, many pets are facing a grim future when their families leave them behind after abandoning their foreclosed homes. If you have pets and are facing financial hardship that could lead to relocation, find out about your options for keeping your animals together with the family. more
Reptilian Risks
Keeping reptiles as pets can be hazardous to your health—-and theirs. From the risk of Salmonella to the need for a special diet and high levels of care, read the many reasons why The HSUS recommends that reptiles not be kept as pets. more

  Pet Tip

Give Me Shelter

catWhether you want to adopt a pet or are searching for ways to volunteer for animals in your community, The HSUS can help you find your local animal shelter. more

More Pet Tips »
Come Together

The HSUS and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights have combined to create the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, a powerful new voice of veterinary advocacy. Learn more about the HSVMA.

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