Animals Who Adopt Other Animals

Having a pet or adopting a pet, biologists say, is a uniquely human activity. If this is true, what’s going on here with this long-tailed macaque that was seen cuddling a kitten in Monkey Forest Park, on the island of Bali, Indonesia? The photographer observed the monkey treating the kitten as a pet, cuddling it, nuzzling it and even grooming it. No one seems to know how the kitten and monkey got together but the kitten seemed perfectly happy.

And what about the colony of bearded capuchin monkeys found to be caring for a baby marmoset, another species of monkey? The monkeys treated Fortunata (the name the researches gave the marmoset) like any human couple might treat their pet cat or dog, They played with her, cradled her and carried her around.

Both of these situations raise the questions: are humans really the only ones who have pets? And why don’t animals keep pets? Psychologist and author Hal Herzog took it upon himself to answer these questions and in his research he found plenty of examples of long-term attachments between animals of different species but only when they were captive or semi-captive in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries or research labs.

To be truly reflective of the species and conclusive, he felt the activity must occur in the wild. He took to scouring academic journals, consulting a host of animal behavorists and reached the conclusion that pet keeping just didn’t happen in the wild. Humans were thus the only animals who truly kept pets.

That’s about when the story of Fortunata reached his ears and doubt flickered across his theory. However, Dr. Herzog soon learned that while the capuchins were not confined, the situation was not completely wild either. The monkeys were given food every day as part of a program designed to promote ecotourism. Also, it was unclear to him whether Fortunata was a case of pet or adoption.

In the end, he concluded that in order to qualify as a pet-keeping, the relationship must be relatively long-lasting and not have obvious benefits to the pet’s “owner”. Since the capuchins had lived with Fortunata for 14 months, he believes they simply are an exception that proves the more general rule that non-human animals don’t keep pets. As for the macaque and kitten in Bali, since they have just recently been discovered, only time will tell what they truly are to each other.

Michael Mountain is the President and Chief Content Officer of Zoe. Zoe is an online magazine that inspires its readers with upbeat, relevant information that connects the interrelated issues of animals, the environment and the human spirit. Michael is a well-respected, trusted figure in the animal-rescue community and was one of the founders of the Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

Pet Care – Quick Tips and Advice

When you bring a pet into your family, you need to do a little bit of careful research to ensure that you understand what its needs and requirements will be. Regardless of whether you are bringing home a horse, dog, cat, rabbit or mouse, there will be certain care requirement basics that will need to be adhered to. Feeding, Exercising, Living Arrangements, Vet Checks and Grooming will need to be considered and you will need to make sure that you have a solid grasp on these basics.

Feeding

Find out the correct pet food for your animal and make sure you buy the best possible quality. Most animals will thrive on a mixture of fresh produce and dry commercial pet food. Dogs will prefer kibble and canned food, as will cats. If you are feeding other sorts of animals you may need to talk to an expert in order to ensure that you provide the correct diet. Usually, the person or company who you buy the animal from will provide you with information about the optimal dietary requirements. The library will have an excellent selection of books that will give you detailed and well-researched information about the correct diet for different types of animals.

Exercising

Animals usually require exercise. The degree of exercise will vary depending on the sort of animal you have. For example, a cat simply needs to be let outside for a little while with a bell to scare of the birds. A dog will need a long walk every day. A mouse will need to run around its little wheel. A horse can be lunged or ridden to keep its fitness levels up. Make sure you understand the exercise requirements of the animal that you buy. It really is cruel to buy a pet and not exercise it properly, so if you don’t like long walks, get a cat instead of a dog.

Living Arrangements

Before you bring your new animal home, you will need to think about the type of living arrangements that you will need to supply. Most animals need warmth and a dry area to sleep. You may need a specialised cage if you are buying a rabbit. If you have dog or cat, you can buy a woven basket with nice soft bedding for sleeping. Of course, horses will need a stable and a suitable sized paddock.

Vet Checks

Vet bills can be expensive, so think about taking out pet insurance if you buy a new animal. Most pets will need immunisations and semi-regular vet check ups to monitor health and happiness and head off any emerging health problems early.

Grooming

When you buy your pet, you will want to purchase suitable grooming equipment to ensure that you keep your animal clean and happy. Select a pet who fits in with your lifestyle and think about grooming before you buy an animal, rather than after.

By following these basics, you can ensure that your pet is well cared for, happy and healthy. Make sure that you have an understanding of the actual time commitment involved in raising and caring for an animal before you decide to go ahead and bring one into your life. Provided that you look after your pet properly, you are sure that experience years of pleasant companionship and joy.

Insights on Exotic Pets

An exotic pet is an animal that is not conventionally kept as a pet or is a rare animal pet altogether. Usually pets that are not common cats, dogs, or birds frequently fall under the category of exotic animals. Bizarre looking animal are also commonly described as exotic. Exotics are quite expensive because they are rare and are highly regulated by laws such as those of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. People purchase and keep exotic animals for reasons of prestige, exhibition, or conserving these rare species. Due to their unpredictability and wild instincts, exotic pets can be dangerous in the domestic setting. Adoption of these pets should be very cautious, research on the behavior of these pets and familiarize them adequately. Some dangerous exotic pets are scorpions, snakes and constrictors, turtles, crocodiles, big cats and monkeys.

Exotics require veterinarian services just like their common, domestic counterparts. Necessarily, veterinarian care for these pets is quite an expensive affair. Being essentially wild animals, they have zoo tendencies in that they carry lethal viruses such as salmonella, rabies among others that can cause death or paralysis. These pets are also groomed and other expenses such as housing and food are factors that should be considered in the adoption of exotic pets. Feeding these pets is a big task, as they may even need to consume whole animals like rabbits. These pets demand specific environments in terms of temperature and climate as well as a suitable social environment.