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wild animals vs domestic pets

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by Axeman52, May 3, 2018.

  1. Axeman52

    Axeman52 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else appreciate wild animals more than domestic pets?

    I've never really had many pets. Never had a cat or a dog, just some guinea pigs and a hamster, when I was younger, but have no desire to keep pets anymore.

    I like watching the wild birds in my garden (I don't know enough about the various species to tell you what exactly, because I've never looked into it, but definitely a lot of robins and blackbirds, wood pigeons, collared doves, woodpeckers, etc), I also occasionally get badgers, hedgehogs and foxes in the garden at night. Sometimes I see mice and rats as well. My neighbour once had an otter in his pond recently which he caught on camera, too. There are lots of wild rabbits in the countryside around me. and ducks. lots of ducks. swans, on the river, too. There's this lake nearby that often attracts a lot of wild geese at a certain time of year, too.

    Lately I find myself having the desire to go to these wild animal rescue centres on a volunteer programme to help look after orphaned or abandoned lion and cheetah cubs and things - that appeals to me a lot more than keeping a cat. If I had the money I'd do it, but I'd need to sort out passport, immunisations, travel etc... Someone on facebook asked me "why don't you just get a cat?" but it's just not the same, to me.

    Can anyone else relate to this?
     
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  2. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Do you have nature centers where you live? I used to volunteer at one. I learned so much, and got up really close to deer, and fawns, and got to lead tour guides. You could maybe also volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center, or at a vetinary office out in the country, where they would treat all kinds of animals, both domestic and wild. Wildlife get hit by autos, smash into windows, and get into all sorts of life threatening issues. These centers need very dedicated people to help out.

    It’s not that easy to work with the big cats, or bears. They just do not allow anyone to get near these high risk animals. There is a ton of training, and a lot on non animal menial labor often for years, before you are let near the creatures. Most often, a reputable place will use veterinary / biology college student interns (often going for their Masters Degree.) and not just people off the street.
     
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  3. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    I can appreciate wild animals in their natural state or environment.

    I like to see a wild bird flying freely (not in a cage) and so on.

    Getting a cat wouldn’t be the same experience as actually traveling to a wildlife sanctuary and getting involved in the work they do there.

    I do have domestic animals living in my home with me and I can imagine it would be nothing like traveling to study packs of wolves, dingoes, lion prides and the like.
    Nothing at all like it :)
     
  4. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Exactly. You said “study.” Which is why these places usually work with specialized students. You could start writing these sanctuary’s and ask what it takes to become a volunteer. Most require you to pay them to work there. They all need money. You could look into your own country’s sanctuaries first. For example, there are several big cat sanctuaries in the USA (where I am from), and even an elephant sanctuary in Ohio.

    My friend actually volunteered at a baby orangutan sanctuary in Borneo where massive deforestation is happening.

    Keep researching, and saving your money. It’s a fantastic dream that might come true. You could also consider working on a safari game reserve. There are some where no hunting is allowed. Be careful though, many so called “sanctuaries “ are not what you want them to be. I found one around 60 miles from my home. I got all excited and wanted to volunteer after meeting the owner at the nature center where I worked for 6 years. He had wolves, coyotes, and a bear, and all sorts of smaller wildlife. He was legally registered, and does many impressive educational programs, which I had viewed. When I got there I utterly dismayed, as the animals were all kept in smallish cages. It was worse than a zoo. He continues to run his “ sanctuary, and it’s legal! I heard him on the phone wanting to get more wolves, and a mountain lion. Some sanctuaries are really just a legal way for animal hoarders to keep their animals. I have done a lot of research on this, as I displayed animal hoarder tendencies myself for 15 years ( I no longer do now).

    Be careful of the fantasy that all animals run “wild and free” in sanctuaries. That is a myth. There are definitely enclosures, and some are small. Some animals do not get along. Some are sick or injured. Few run “wild and free” unless the sanctuary is enormous. Do your research! Sanctuaries want to protect the animals they spend money on. Running “wild and free” is loaded with great dangers, illness, death from other animals, and poachers. You would do these animals great service by becoming a wildlife biologist. Then you could truly interact with wild big cats to keep them safe, and wild.

    A well run sanctuary would keep minimal contact between humans and big cats- unless the animals are confined in cages or small enclosures. Which is not wild and free. Well managed preserves forbid a lot of human interaction, because it creates an animal too habituated to humans, and creates a potentially dangerous situation. Especially big cats.

    “Wild and free” mean minimal contact with us humans. If you want to work up close with animals that would be a ranch, park, or zoo. If you want to work with big cats, that are wild and free, you would need to think about what that means. Most places in Africa use the local people as game keepers. Or you would have to get a veterinary, biology, science degree, along with years of experience. You would have to find a way to support yourself initially, as a volunteer. Best luck!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  5. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I can't imagine life without pets. Wild animals are nice to watch from a reasonable difference and all, but you can't touch them, play with them, pet them or feed them. Definitely not feed them. We're not even supposed to feed the ducks at the local pond anymore. Even our kindness can end up killing wild animals. So let me cuddle with my two house cats and not feel guilty.:kissingcat::hearteyecat:
     
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  6. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    2FE2E9A5-E112-4150-A5BD-35F81957CD55.jpeg Happy world wombat day
     
  7. Aspergers_Aspie

    Aspergers_Aspie Well-Known Member

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    I donate to a couple of animal charities and feel sad if I see a pigeon with an injured foot and I go into a shop and buy a sandwich to feed it, the work of animal rescue centres I respect and I encourage any injured wild animals be reported to a wildlife rescue centre if possible. Pigeons can sometimes be misunderstood:-

    Pigeons - Animal Aid
     
  8. Samuel Richards

    Samuel Richards New Member

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    I cannot imagine my life without my pets, who meet me from work every day, and I try to help wild animals by making charitable contributions to the Wildlife Rescue Center.
     
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  9. Catherine Read

    Catherine Read Member

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    I do very much appreciate wildlife, I travel out to South Africa every year to help out on a nature reserve (and trying to organise getting back there for another 4 weeks as soon as possible - it's pretty much my second home lol), and I've also got a trip to the rainforest in Peru planned to help out with conservation work (which is also on hold), but couldn't imagine life without pets either. I do really like learning about them and continuously advancing and optimising my care towards them. It's my pets that inspired me to get my degree in Zoo Biology.

    Edited to add...

    I thought this pic I took last year at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve was a fun combo of domestic and wild - Mbezi the Zebra and Bongi the Donkey.

    Mbezi had to be hand-reared after she was discovered half-dead as a foal on the reserve, she can now free-roam but likes to come back for lunch. Bongi helped to rear her and is always by her side.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021