Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's a Jungle Out There!

My family and I just watched  The Elephant in the Living Room? It is a wonderful documentary. It's told with heartfelt concern for animals and their owners.  It is a plea that people not own exotic animals or at least that they remember that exotic animals are wild and not tame. They may be raised by people but they still possess animal instincts and will act on them. They are animals.  This film held my family captive for several days. I did not have the opportunity to watch it in its entirety in one sitting.  My family insisted I watch the rest of the film and then they went one step better. They watched it again with me.  Quite a statement for the documentary, if you ask me. The movie highlights what can happen when a family takes home a cute little alligator or a precious lion cub and it grows up.  The story of Lambert broke my heart. 

After watching the video I looked through our library collection and found a few books on similar subjects.  Wild Times: Tales from Suburban Safaris by Tim Harrison is excellent. Tim gives short glimpses of his life as an exotic animal control expert. This includes some of his most interesting experiences.  If you enjoy wildlife or are an animal activist, or even a normal citizen from Dayton, Ohio you might want to read this book and learn for yourself that there really is a jungle out there. It may even be in your neighborhood.
Forbidden creatures : inside the world of animal smuggling and exotic pets  written by Peter Laufer is another very educational and  intriguing book. Laufer uses his renowned journalism skills and investigates the world of exotic animals. He thoroughly explores the world of exotic pets and presents an unbiased view of how owners, sellers and smugglers operate and tries to answer the question, "Why do people want an exotic pet?". 

The thing I found most interesting is I watched the movie and read the books before Terry Thompson released his wild animals in Zanesville, Ohio.  Hopefully people are now more aware that there is a suburban jungle out there. If you want to learn more read these books.

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