Animals & Pets

Before pets can be imported to New Zealand, they need to meet health requirements. Pets can be taught to do tricks by using the Animal Whistle. You can even train them when they’re inside the farm house. Once a day you will earn affection for using the whistle with the tamed pet, and eventually the difficulty of the trick performed will increase. High level tricks are good for winning the Pet Contest at the Animal Festival on Spring 28.

I was thinking about feral children, humans raised by wild animals. Wolves come to mind, because there are documented instances of children adopted and raised by wolves. Other animals have fostered human children as well. The lucky human is adopted and raised like one of their own, and the human in return adapts to their provider’s society, often at the cost of his or her own humanity.

You are right. There are scads of examples of long-term attachments between animals of different species. The problem is that virtually all these cases have occurred among captive or semi-captive animals in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, or research labs. I recently scoured academic journals and consulted a host of animal behaviorists for examples of pet-keeping in other species in the wild. I found none. True, there are a few articles in primatology journals which describe instances in which wild chimpanzees “played” with small animals like hyraxes. But in each case, the relationship soon went south when the chimps killed their new pals and proceeded to toss their corpses around like rag dolls.

It’s a very touchy subject. On the one hand, you obviously don’t want to compare the journey of animals to the journey of blacks because a lot of people would be offended—and rightly so—by that comparison. On the other hand, these animal rights and animal law advocates need some sort of road map. When you look at the journey of pets, pets went from being wild animals to being co-opted by human society to being turned into property. Now some people are trying to fight to turn them into people.

Neither. You should call your local wildlife rehabilitation center and have one of their employees come out to take a look. Oh, come on, you say. Bunnies (or squirrels, or fawns) make great pets, right? Everybody knows someone who told stories of having one of these wild animals as a pet as a kid. But what most folks leave out of the “raising a baby squirrel” tale is the story about the day that the wild squirrel (or bunny, or bird) went a little “crazy” and had to be released back into the wild.