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Having an exotic pet can appear to be quite glamorous, or so the celebrities who pose with them in magazines make it appear. But is it really? Let’s take a look at what is involved in looking after a leopard.
Habitat, range and diet
The leopard is the smallest of all big cats, i.e. tiger, lion and jaguar, and there are a number of breeds within this species, such as the African Leopard, the Sri Lankan Leopard, the Amur Leopard and the Clouded Leopard. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa; there are also fragmented populations in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, and China. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a “Near Threatened” species by the Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
The leopard’s natural habitat is grassland and woodland which extends for miles. Their home ranges can extend from 12-30 square miles for males and 5.8-6.2 square miles for females. They have a very broad diet and eat anything from an antelope to insects and they mostly go hunting from sunset to sunrise.
Bearing all this in mind, how would you be able to humanely house and feed a leopard in NYC??
According to Born Free USA, the exotic pet industry is a multi-billion dollar business, but it is incredibly difficult to rear animals such as leopards in an enclosed environment when they have been used to living in a home that measured a minimum of 6.2 square miles of grassland or woodland, not to mention the problems with trying to feed them. I mean, where can you go to stock up on fresh antelope for them to eat?? Where would you be able to take them for a walk?
Effects on wild animals living in captivity
According to the ASPCA malnutrition, stress, trauma, and behavioural disorders are common in exotic animals kept as pets. In the states where it is legal to have an exotic animal (only a few states allow this, and even then you will need a license) getting medical care is extremely difficult. It may require a trip to your local zoo as your everyday veterinarians aren’t trained to deal with the diseases specific to animals usually found in the wild such as salmonella and herpes.
The reality is no matter how adorable an exotic animal may look, or how cool you think it would be to have one living with you, it really isn’t a good idea for you or for them. The little that we do know about them shows that humans cannot meet their needs properly in captivity at all.
Leo is in the hands of trained experts who know what he needs and have the means to provide him with it, which is why he was such a handful for us at Pet Chauffeur! If that wasn’t the case he may have ended up like a number of wild animals living outside of their environment do; as the majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals end up caged, chained, or beaten into submission. Some owners will even have an animal’s teeth or claws removed, so that the animal cannot harm the owner should an attack occur.
Outside of their natural environment, the best place for a leopard or any other wild animal is a smaller, controlled environment such as a reserve where, even though there isn’t as much room as they are used to, they can roam freely and get the specialist care and attention that they need.By Ralph R. Ortegas 05/19/2001
PET CABBIES OFFER QUICK PICK-’EM-UP
Vicki Ungar gave up yelling, “Hey, taxi!” to go across town with Molly, her lovable cocker spaniel.”Ten taxis will pass you before one will stop. I guess most don’t like people with animals,” said Ungar, a pet hospital manager who travels to work with her pooch daily.
David Lang, owner of Pet Chauffer, picks up another fare. Ungar gets Molly there using Pet Chauffeur, one of the city’s pet-transportation companies that allow humans along for the ride. Animal lovers who travel with sizable dogs, as well as iguanas, ferrets and other exotic critters, have turned to such companies after being banned from most other modes of public transport.
Cabbies take the most heat for passing on pets, objecting because of their size and even for religious and cultural reasons. Many drivers can’t handle fur. “I’m highly allergic to cats, I choke,” said Fernando Mateo, president of the 30,000-member New York Federation of Taxi Drivers, representing livery cabs. But the biggest objection comes from the potential backseat cleanup.
“Cab drivers don’t like to stop for pets because they fear they might do their business in the car,” said David Lang, owner of the Long Island City-based Pet Chauffeur. Potty accidents are no problem for Lang, whose five-minivan fleet comes prepared for cleanups. Lang charges varying rates around town, starting at $25 for 1 to 40 blocks. He also will go out of state. Locally, owners travel free and crates are not usually required.
Ungar calls ahead to schedule her 15-minute ride to work at the Park East Animal Hospital in midtown. Drivers usually arrive early, she said, and often will tune into Molly’s favorite jazz and classical stations for the ride. Dog and owner make at least 10 trips a week, pricey for Ungar since she started taking Molly to work in January. She declined to discuss how much she pays, but explained that 12-year-old Molly has cancer. “She’s very special, and a great companion,” said Ungar, who was recently divorced. “I’ll really do anything for my dog.”
Pet movers make trips to the vet, hospital, groomers, doggie day care, airports and New York’s animal havens.
“I take a customer three times a week from Tribeca to Central Park with her giant, beautiful German shepherd, Harley!” said Larry Reilly, owner of the Manhattan-based Pet Taxi. Reilly also offers tempting excursions to grassy country settings near mountains and lakes, and provides weekend service to the Hamptons. “Reunite yourself and your dog with Mother Nature,” he urges on his Web site, “Meet other pet owners who want to give their pets a better life.”
In 1999, Gail Pierangelino, a former deli owner and groomer from Manhattan, started a one-woman pet-travel business called Petex. Ever since, she has found customers who wouldn’t travel any other way with their animals. “They have no worries,” said Pierangelino, 47. “They call me up, and I’m there. It’s like having a private car for you and your animal.”
The recession has not been kind to the pet industry. While their finances are in flux, pet owners are less likely to splurge on toys or grooming, and fewer vacations spell empty kennels at the boarding house. In fact, prospective owners are less likely to take on the financial burden of a new dog or cat to begin with.
I have depended on Pet Chauffeur for ten (10) years to help me get my pets to life saving situations. Whether the trip is long or short, my animals are always looked after with the greatest care. It’s good to know this kind of assistance is available and on time. Thank you David and crew for being in my life. Even if my concerts and public appearances take me from home, I can trust Pet Chauffeur to look after the travel needs of all of the dogs and cats, who are a part of my family. BIG THANKS!
One of the reasons that some people get a dog is because they want to make them a part of their own exercise regimen. They are hoping that regular ‘walkies’ and trips to the park to play games for hours on end will help them in their quest to shed those stubborn pounds and stay fit all the while building a strong relationship with their dog.
So it can be a bit of a bummer when you discover that your dog doesn’t actually want to do any of that! You grab hold of their dog lead and come towards them and they run over to the couch and nestle down deep. But don’t worry. With a few handy tips you can encourage your furry couch potato to take more of an interest in regular exercise.
Here are some things to consider.
Like we humans when given a large meal, dogs tend to like a nap afterwards. In order for you to help your dog adapt to a healthier lifestyle, pay attention to the size of the portions you are putting in front of them and what you are actually feeding them. Be careful with the treats and feeding them the food from your plate. These things can make them feel sluggish and unmotivated to exercise. Try and incorporate more vegetables and fresh meat into their diets.
Reward them with praise instead of a treat!
The tendency for some pet owners is to reward their dogs with a treat for good behaviour or doing what has been asked of them. Your pet will eventually cotton on and remain obedient but they will keep expecting treats for it! Instead reward them with praise! Dogs tend to respond well to an excited tone of voice from their owners; this in itself will be enough reward for them. Use this when teaching them to get into exercise. This is especially good when it comes to taking the lazy dog for a walk. If the walk is upbeat and fun, the dog is more likely to want to come along. Also, exploring new areas will get even the laziest of dogs to put his nose down and search around. But if they are really hardcore lazy, you may have to start with some small treat to get the ball rolling!
Find them a playmate
Even the laziest of dogs would love to play with another dog. See if there are neighbours who have dogs that you can go to the park or arrange play dates with – it will definitely get your pet motivated to do something other than blob around the house!
See what activities for dogs there are in your area and get your pet involved in some of those. It will make life easier for you and having something tailor-made for your pet will help them get used to different sorts of activities, particularly if there are other dogs around.
Whatever course you choose, aim to exercise your dog at least 45 minutes each day. Daily exercise is good for their heart, mobility and overall well-being. Even though they may be unwilling to comply in the beginning, persist. They must have exercise as part of their regimen if they are to enjoy a good quality of life.
Over the past decade, the importance of sustaining healthy, organic lifestyles packed with homemade hormone and chemical free foods has been the focus of headlines, parenting classes, and dinner-party debates alike. Although nutrition as a whole has been a social concern for decades, the movement to initiate change in the home first separates this generation of parents, who are tackling this dilemma head-on by making the time to dice, chop and puree good health and well-being for their kids and pups.
Sniffing 100 breath samples from patients with biopsy-confirmed lung cancer, the dogs failed to flag only 29, reported Thorsten Walles, MD, of Schillerhoehe Hospital in Gerlingen, Germany, and colleagues online in the European Respiratory Journal.