I travel only inside my own country, and the reason for the travel is to rescue exotic animals from owners who do not want them any longer. I place ads in newspapers and on the Internet under the heading “Pet Exotic”. My ad usually tells that I will come to anywhere in the country to take over the ownership and care of pets that the owners can’t care for any longer.
I can’t take every animal that people contact me to take. There are far too many dogs and cats that people decide have become too much to cope with. I really wish that more people would neuter their dogs and cats to prevent the population explosion that is taking place. That is why my ads are usually under the “exotic” heading. Most dogs and cats do not qualify as exotic pets. Thus, I do not travel to take these more common pets.
I have many tales to tell about the animals that I have adopted and moved into my own backyard zoo. Let me share a little information about some of the exotic animals that challenged my ability to travel with. There are other tales that I could tell about how animals challenged me after getting them home. That will be another article for me to write.
If possible, I use my own vehicle to bring rescued exotic animals from their owners’ homes to my own home. Using my SUV gives me much more control over the animals during travel. I can stop at any time to care for a problem that an animal may be having during the trip. It is more of a problem to have to take a plane or train or bus. The drivers of those types of transportation really don’t care about the problems of the animals I am transporting.
I recall a gibbon that I had a call to adopt. He was an older male and somewhat aggressive. Since they are rather large monkey-type of animals, I had no choice but to drive my SUV across the country to get him. The owner had him in a very large cage, too large for me to get into my vehicle. Thus, I had to buy a cage from a local pet shop. This gibbon did not want to get into a smaller cage, however. Fruit placed into the smaller cage did not entice him enough. He was too violent to simply pick up and place into the cage. Finally, I decided to dart him with a tranquilizer so he could sleep during the change of cages and for the first few hours of the trip. I had to put a plywood piece between the front seat and his cage because he was spitting at me and being a general pest for the rest of the voyage to his new home.
I remember having to take a spitting cobra once. The cage was made of wires so he was able to spit his poison toward anyone outside the cage. I had to create a glass barrier on the outside of the cage but had to allow holes so he could get oxygen during the long trip to my home.
Some exotic animals are beautiful, which explains why some people choose them as pets. Still, their beauty sometimes hides their bad dispositions. One call that I got was to pick up three Amazon parrots. Such beauty and intelligence are trademarks of these birds. They were all in one large cage. I put the cage into my vehicle and began the trip home. I was startled when one of the gorgeous birds began attacking the other two. He caused a gash in the throat of one of them which was bleeding a lot. I was concerned that it may bleed to death so I had to find a veterinarian on the way to patch up the wounded bird.
This project that I chose is rewarding, especially when I see a mistreated animal become pleasant and healthy. The cost of traveling, the cost of food and medicine and the problems are negatives. Still, the positive side of the picture is greater than the negative. I accept the challenge of rescuing these members of God’s creation. It’s a good life.