A pretty much pointless rant into the ether ... but I've just got to say this.
If you've been in Norway and paying any attention to the news the past couple of days, you will have heard the story about the hapless smuggler who got caught getting off the boat from Denmark in Kristiansand on Sunday with 14 ball pythons and 10 leopard geckos taped to his body. And, idiot that he was, a tarantula in his bag that apparently led the customs officers to examine him more thoroughly. Although he must have looked pretty noticeably weird. I do agree with him that it's ridiculous that the reptiles were taken away from him, while he was allowed to keep the spider ... the only animal in the bunch that could actually have done serious harm to a human being. o_O But overall my feelings towards this man are ...
... intense annoyance and significant anger at his incredible stupidity!!! He supposedly is a reptile fan. FUCKWIT!!! What kind of complete & utter dumbass tries to pull off a smuggling operation like this on foot?? on the ferry .... ! and what kind of idiot doesn't consider the implications for a cause that he now alleges he believes in?? This story is EXACTLY the kind of thing that most hinders the progress of that cause. When the media get hold of stories like this, they run with it - everyone hears it - and people get freaked, for which I can't honestly say I entirely blame them, but it's always guaranteed to make things more difficult for the herpetological community as a whole and for our cause. >:-(
Just to make it clear, this guy was smuggling with intent to sell. Ten baby leos of pretty much identical morphs, and more than a dozen ball pythons hatched this summer ... nobody wants that. I mean, no one person. This wasn't for himself, he was going to sell. So this story, as I said, understandably freaks non-reptile people out. OMG there's a black market for dangerous animals!!1! Yeah, there's a black market. These particular animals weren't dangerous, though. But of course there is a black market. There's also a significant number of animals in captivity that are forced to do without proper medical care if they need it ... potentially a hundred thousand animals, at least. Many of them - as readers of this blog will know ;-) - do have access to a vet. But their owners take their pets' lives into their hands every time they make that contact. Animal welfare my shiny metal ass.
This is a really messy rant, sorry ... cases like this one just piss me off so much I can hardly talk about it coherently. It's just one setback after the other for a cause that I really feel strongly about. People like this guy do such a fantastic job of making the herpetological community look bad, it's like they actually set out to do it. Like that's their goal. If this guy really cares about the reptile cause, and he still went out and did this, he must just be incredibly stupid. :-(
I question whether he does cares, since he claims to VG that you can cuddle the geckos like any other pet. Growl. No, you cannot 'cuddle' reptiles like a mammal or a bird. If you think you can, you shouldn't have them.
You can read about the case in Norwegian here and here, and in English in various places ... The Guardian, The Sun, The Australian. Fascinating, I'm sure.
I am of course happy that the animals will not be put to death as they normally would have been, but that the Butterfly Park will take them in instead. But of course that is nothing but blind dumb luck. Maybe one small advantage of the media attention.
Rant over, thank you for listening.
4 days ago