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Other Exotics Post here about any exotics not listed - and topics relevant to all exotics.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bushbabys!

I know there was someone here who wanted to know about Lesser Bushbabys. Well our local store where I used to work just got a male and I saw him for the first time today! We are going to breed him, and I'll be taking a baby, and if anyone else wants one let me know! He is so darn cute and soft. I'll get pictures of him soon. I would have today but I forgot my camera.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 10:18 PM
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To those folks thinking about getting Bushbabys (or any primate for that matter) as a pet, I have to admit, they are cute as a button. But, they are also social primates. That means that as they age, they will strive for dominance with their owner. I have never seen an adult male pet primate that did not have to be "modified". That usually means canine teeth and testicles. ...and usually after the owner bled quite a bit. Bushbabys in particular are known for having a serious bite.

Let me add some other things to think about:

Zoonotics, that is diseases transmissible between humans and animals are numerous between primates and humans. Because, of course, we are so closely related. Many minor diseases that we have, like Strep Throat for instance, are usually fatal for other primate species (in less than 24 hrs for small primates). There are quite a few things they can carry that we don't/can't effectively test for. Even animals that have been bred for several generations can be carriers.
Here are a few things to think about along those lines:
http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/aboutp/pets/zoonoses.html

Primates are unlike any other pet in their requirments, both physically and emotionally. Here is an article from the same website (reprinted from Monkey Matters magazine), entitled "Are You Sure You Want A Monkey":
http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/aboutp/pets/areyousure.html

In reality, wanting/getting a pet primate is selfishness on the part of the owner. They need companionship 24/7 for their whole lives. Humans can't fill that need. I've seen babys hugging a towel when they should have been in the arms of their mother.

Look at how pet primates are "made". They are taken from the mother to be hand-raised, long before they are ready, usually within hours or days of birth. The mothers are primates, just like us ...they grieve. When it happens repeatedly (and it almost always does) they even suffer depression and mental illness.

A quote from another article:"You may be the best pet-primate owner in the world, but by purchasing an infant primate, you are perpetuating a business that leads to miserable lives for many of the very animals you profess to adore."
http://www.honoluluzoo.org/pets.htm

I know lots of people who work with exotics for a living, (I work in an AZA accredited zoo) some even have them at home. Some have parrots, raptors, herps, ...even zebras and elephants!. I don't know any primate professional who wants to have a primate in their house...or would recommend them as a pet. None!

If I sound passionate about this, I am. I love primates. I've helped raise baby monkeys on a couple of occasions (one instance the mother didn't produce milk, the other time, the mother died). They are adorable, no question. But they are not pets.

You may not agree, but at least read the articles and be as informed as you can before you enter into this.


Just some things to think about.

Cheers



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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 10:53 PM
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wow Mygala! Very VERY informative information! I have ALWAYS admired primates & yes admit I have always said I want one. I know especially right now I couldn't adequately care for one... and after reading what you have to say about this subject & reading those articles, I could likley never adequately or fairly care for one in the way they deserve. Although it may not be the same, but for those considering a primate baby of their own, what about adopting one at a zoo or primate dwelling (not sure what t would be called) rather than have it live in your home? just a thought

I always enjoy hearing what you have to say & your view points! Know that I strongly feel you are a great asset to Paw-Talk!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Great information! I've read those links before, but I have very different viewpoints. I know many people who have had BushBabys as pets, and have never had problems. This particular one will be used in educational work, along with his mate. I've never heard of any owners having trouble with adult Bushbabys being overly agressive. In fact my vet (who was the head vet at Oregon's Wildlife Safari) has both Bushbaby's and ring tailed lemurs. I've noticed through experience watching friends animals that the more furry type cutesy type or primates tend to be more docile. Now, this may not be true but this is just my experience. I would never consider neutering or removing canine teeth, even for animals such as Coatis. I think removing their canine teeth is awful, and if you plan on keeping an exotic you should be prepared to handle seirous bites. I was bitten today by this Bushbaby, and their teeth are actually very very tiny, and even if he wanted to have brutally attacked me, he couldn't do much damage. Honestly, I'd be more scared of getting bit by one of my rats. There comes a certain respect you have to have when you own an exotic pet, and today he just didn't want to be messed with. He let me know he wanted to go back to bed by offering me his teeth on my thumb as a warning. I covered him back up with his blankie and he fell back asleep. Bad bad on me to wake up a nocturnal creature LOL!

I also would NEVER take a baby from it's mother. Most of the breeders who breed primates allow the mother to raise the babies, and if I do plan on taking a baby Bushbaby it wil most certaintly be spending quality time with it's mother. I also think that owning a Capuchin money versus a BushBaby or ring tailed lemur is a very different thing. Thanks for the link on Zoonosis. I will print that out for my store, and see what I can dig up in my vet books as well. Zoonosis is always something to think about when owning any pet! Great information. I also like what you said about them not being pets. That is very true. They may be companions, but never pets like our cats and dogs.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-23-2005, 05:58 AM
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Thanks for listening,

I've seen a couple of attempts to work Bushbabys into educational classes (I was trainer/consultant for one). None of them worked out satisfactorily for a couple of reasons. Because of their ability/tendency to jump, it seemed to lend itself towards putting a harness and leash on them. While it was no problem to train them to wear the harness, I found it awkward to work with and worried about them hitting the end of the leash in mid-air.

The alternative, just letting go hither and thither among the crowd wasn't near as attractive. I worried about someone freaking out if they got landed on, and possible zoonosis. There was always the small but everpresent fear that someone would try to grab at her and get bit. In that situation, most states require either the person bit to get post-exposure shots, or the animal must be put down for testing. A parent might not want to subject their child to the shots, so we'd have to put down the animal. This is a situation that really has arisen a couple of times.

Currently, however, I don't think there is any accredited zoo in North America that will use any primate in education. The zoonosis to both the animal and the audience is the most predominant reason. (I've never seen a class full of kids that didn't have at least one kid with the sniffles). Another reason is that they are just do darn cute. People see them in that situation and they look like pets. ...and no zoo wants to encourage any exotic, especially primates, as pets to the general public.

It's always a fine line to draw when you use any exotic in education. How to do it without making them seem like a pet..

Seems like a lot of tough choices to make, but you seem smart and aware of what you are getting into.

Good luck, I wish you well.
If I can help, don't hesistate to PM me.

Cheers



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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-23-2005, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Now I know who to turn to if I have questions. I am definitely going to print out this information for the store. I honestly do not think they are as aware as I am about the possible drawbacks. Yes, they are trying to halter and leash train him. I'm not sure exactly how they will be using him with the public as of yet.
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