Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fatal Attraction to Strange Pets

Owning strange pets is a craze that's fast catching up in the Maldives. Apart from the usual cats and love birds, it's quite common these days to find cockatoos, iguanas, guinea pigs, monkeys and even tarantulas in Maldivian homes.

Many people who own pets actually think of themselves as animal lovers. But their love often becomes a type of fatal attraction that lands the animals in cruel conditions and sometimes death.

As a typical example, let me cite the case of the four parrots recently smuggled into the Maldives. Customs officers discovered them wrapped in plastic bags with adhesive tape and hidden under the boiler suits of the two smugglers. [See above photo from Jazeera]

Smugglers get away with this sort of cruelty because misguided 'animal lovers' who buy the creatures tacitly condone such actions. Further there is no comprehensive wild life protection law in the Maldives.

Of course, strange pet ownership is not restricted to the Maldives. Two-thirds of Australian households have at least one pet, according to Petnet. Loving pets is not new, but the way we treat them is.

Pets are becoming more humanized with Doggles (dog sunglasses), gourmet foods, portraits, funeral and cremation services. And it's a big money spinner.

Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in America, but some people prefer more unusual creatures for companions. Visit a pet store, and you may see snakes, hermit crabs, tarantulas, hedgehogs and even Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Some people even have alligators in their bath tubs.


Anonymous said...

From 2005:

Anonymous said...

Middle aged Maldivian women's craze for strange pets helps to maintain the popularity of former president Gayyoom

Anonymous said...

if you can't take care of your pet, don't get one. it's just like how one should not reproduce if one can't take care of a child.

MoS said...

I think some Maldivians don't know the dangers of owning such pets like Tarantulas and snakes. Anonymoys 7:41...why does everything have to be linked to Gayoom? Why does everything in the Maldives in one way or the other be blamed on Gayoom? Get a life mate.

Anonymous said...

Taking care of pets is no different than taking care of children. If one is not in a position to dedicate a better of his life, time and resources to that, one should not get pets in the first place, just to satisfy his delusion that he is a liberal animal rights lover. It only ends in neglect of the pets themselves once the initial 'craze' period is over.

Just check around many homes and you'll know this is true. There's one home near Central Hotel which keeps a cockatoo on its roof in the sun and rain. Don't know why it hasn't died all these months. Would have been more merciful if it had died.

Anonymous said...

the story of an exotic pet in Maldives prison since 1993. What's he doing there? Richard

Zeher said...

To the last anon above. Good point. Like we brought the exotic pet, the bird in Sri Lanka jail, Chinese government should have taken that pet and released. Birds must be free. Birds of a feather must flock together.

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