Who else takes animals outside?

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Paul White
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Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Paul White » July 26th, 2012, 1:47 pm

I'm wondering who else regularly takes animals outside? I don't do it with all of mine but I try to take out my retics a few times a month during the summer, as well as my boa. My kings I don't and my carinata are too flighty. I haven't decided if I will with my cribos when they're full grown...but with my bigger snakes I like to take 'em out and let 'em crawl around or soak in the stock tank some. They seem to enjoy it, and usually poop outside when I do this (which means less mess in the cage, big bonus).

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by chris_mcmartin » July 26th, 2012, 2:32 pm

I keep my box turtles outside during the summer. When I had collared lizards (almost 30 years ago), I put them outside for only brief periods under supervision, as my outdoor enclosure at the time was not quite escape-proof.

I'd like to keep collareds again when I settle down, in a large stock tank or similar, large enough so that I can build a rock outcropping in the middle that sticks up higher than the walls without fear of them being able to jump out.

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monklet
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by monklet » July 26th, 2012, 3:55 pm

Some of mine, the calmer, larger ones, get to talk a "walk" occasionally. Very different responses than when loose indoors too. The immediately seem more deilberate and cautious.

My Barid's Rat (very unfortunately in decline due to some idiopathy) goes into a very odd mode whereby he moves with short little advances of his neck and head in s-curve and extension at ~2 second intervals ...this behavior is very consistent outside but I've never observed it inside.

My female northern meticously "sniffs" each blade of grass with her tongue advancing only very slowly.

Neither of them regard me at all whether I advance or not, in fact, as many snakes seem to do, they typically even advance toward me.

It is my supposition that increasing stimulus, especially that received via the Jacobsen's organ, provides enrichment to them, just as exploration does for us and dogs ...in fact speaking of dogs, I see close parallel between how my snakes interact with their enviroment. ..sniffing about, even small defecations in the same spots repeatedly (in that case that they are free-ranging indoors), just as a dog scents its territory. I also believe that exploration and peaceful interaction with rich environments stimulates a pleasure response just as we observe in dogs on their daily walk. Of course I can't prove snakes experience pleasure, but then, there's no way to prove such of other humans ...nevertheless, it seems a valid extrapolation :)

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 26th, 2012, 6:59 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:I'd like to keep collareds again when I settle down, in a large stock tank or similar, large enough so that I can build a rock outcropping in the middle that sticks up higher than the walls without fear of them being able to jump out.
If I ever keep collareds again it's my hope to do similarly, but with a larger enclosure. I had an eye on a good-sized patch of grass right beside our backyard swimming pool where I thought a walled-in rock garden with collareds (with the walls mostly below the level of the pool and surrounding terrain, and the rock garden rising well above that level) would look much better - my wife even approved the plan, believe it or not - but I never had the time to make it a reality while I was working and now that I'm not we're instead making plans to sell the place. Oh well. Maybe the idea will also work wherever we end up going...

Except for a turtle that my siblings and I had as children and that we would take for nearly daily walks in the yard, I've only taken herps outside so that I could photograph them under natural light.

Gerry

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Don Becker
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Don Becker » July 26th, 2012, 7:12 pm

We take the rabbit out to play in the yard. Does that count? Other than that, I just let my big snakes roam around my office a bit, but not outside.

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by herpseeker1978 » July 26th, 2012, 8:05 pm

I used to take my carpet python out when I would clean out my salamander tank and let him sun in the driveway. He would generally just sit there. I wouldn't let him get too close to the street because I was afraid a neighbor would "accidentally" run him over. Never got any strange looks, which I thought was strange. You'd think a 7' python would turn a few heads. He also liked it when I would spray him with the hose.

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Sam Bacchini
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Sam Bacchini » July 26th, 2012, 9:21 pm

Back when it was still legal in California I had a 4+ foot long caiman that I would bring out in the front yard to hose off while I was cleaning his tank. Then one day the sweet old lady across the street came over and asked me if I knew who she should report it to...

I told her it was OK for me to have it, and somehow that seemed to satisfy her, however I decided not to do that anymore. :)

I have aquatic turtles outside in tubs, but I lost a few to raccoons earlier this summer, so the remaining ones are in much more secure enclosures now.

Aside from that, nothing goes outside, except maybe for photographs.

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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » July 27th, 2012, 5:04 am

It is my supposition that increasing stimulus, especially that received via the Jacobsen's organ, provides enrichment to them, just as exploration does for us and dogs ...
I agree with this. It appears (to my unscientific eye) that my rat snake also enjoys the different textures and structural complexities found outside. He has favorite spots he repeatedly goes to. He likes to climb the birdbath, and one particular tree. He goes outside pretty much daily, weather permitting. He investigates nooks and crannies in the rock landscaping, and suns on the patio. Of course, he requires close supervision, because the mockingbirds harass him otherwise. I have noticed that he never resists being taken outside, but he generally always resists being brought back in.

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monklet
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by monklet » July 27th, 2012, 8:00 am

Interesting Tamara, seems like you have great situation if you can let him go up trees ...presumably those are not too tall and are isolated. Also interesting that I've never noticed resistance to going back in from any of the snakes I've had out. BUT, they often resist going back in their tubs after free-ranging in the room.

Paul White
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Paul White » July 27th, 2012, 8:35 am

My retics usualy go back into the shed after a bit. The male likes to coil up in/around my squat rack. The female just gets routed back to her cage before she can mes something up.

ThomWild
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by ThomWild » July 27th, 2012, 2:30 pm

I posted these pics in another thread but I have a potted hibiscus tree on my patio that I let the snakes perch on occasionally. My racer especially enjoys the time in the tree.

Image

Image

Image

-Thomas

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monklet
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by monklet » July 27th, 2012, 4:55 pm

Love it Thomas! :thumb: 8-)

Paul White
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Paul White » July 28th, 2012, 10:00 am

I wish I could let my boa or retics climb my trees :( but they'd be gone in a flash if I did.

ThomWild
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by ThomWild » July 28th, 2012, 11:27 am

Paul White wrote:I wish I could let my boa or retics climb my trees :( but they'd be gone in a flash if I did.
Luckily this tree is only about 3' in diameter, and as mentioned before it is potted so I stick it right in the middle of the patio or lawn far from any other cover. The racer is pretty calm in that it doesn't dart off like it used to but it is still a racer and I have had to chase it through the lawn a bit on occasion.

This reminded me of an incident I had a few years back with my wife's three toed boxie. I built an outside enclosure for it and one day I took out the little guy so I could do some maintenance on the enclosure. I set the little guy down in the middle of our patio (which is about 400sqft) and went to grab him a worm from the refrigerator. Bad move! I was gone literally less than 20 secs but when I came out he was no where to be seen. The only thing I saw was my 18 month old son throwing "rocks" in the Ivy patch. I looked for a couple of hours and even ripped up a lot of the Ivy but the turtle didn't show up. I thought it was lost forever until a couple of months later one of the neighbors told me they saw it on their walkway that is adjacent to the Ivy patch but didn't pick him up because he was late to work. 14 months later my neighbor on the other side approached me as I was working in my garden. He engaged in the customary small talk and then pulled a turtle out of his pocket and asked if it happened to be mine. I was certainly excited but also embarrassed about the fact that one of my animals had to be found by my neighbor.

Moral of the story, you not only have to account for your animals abilities but your children's abilities as well.

-Thomas

simpleyork
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by simpleyork » July 28th, 2012, 1:50 pm

had a 8x8 foot enclosure for leopard lizards then my wife's cat discovered it and found ways to get in so I took it down

I also let my chameleons bask in a tree out front once in a while

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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Hornemadness » July 29th, 2012, 7:00 am

I only let my box turtles come outside. People tend to not be afraid of turtles. I dont let anything out in the front yard were children might see them. Once children find out that you have reptiles they hound you constantly and bring hoards of their friends. I like kids and enjoy teaching them about reptiles and such, but i dont wanna do that in my front yard.

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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » July 29th, 2012, 7:45 am

Once children find out that you have reptiles they hound you constantly and bring hoards of their friends. I like kids and enjoy teaching them about reptiles and such, but i dont wanna do that in my front yard.
Agreed.

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 29th, 2012, 8:18 am

On a relevant aside: I definitely don't let my cat loose outside. I know a lot of people think that cats need at least occasional freedom outdoors, but it's simply not true and it's hazardous not only for the cat but also for any small animals the cat can hunt up. (And they are superb hunters, even when well fed.) They adjust very well to strictly indoor life, but if a person just won't give up the idea that Fluffy needs some time outside, one can purchase mesh outdoor enclosures that the cat can be put in for periods of time, or even mesh tunnels that lead outdoors from one's house that the cat can use at its leisure, for that purpose. Heck, I've even known cats to be trained to go for walks on a leash.

Even though she too is a wildlife biologist, my wife was a hard sell on this when we first met. Letting the cat have outdoor privileges was simply what her family had always done, and though she knew very well how devastating cats can be on local wildlife she was reluctant to change how she managed her cat, especially at the midpoint in its life. Until it dragged itself home only partly alive after having been hit by a car, that is. Once it healed up she finally agreed to try things my way, and was surprised by how quickly the cat contentedly settled into indoor life. I've also personally known of incidences where people's cats were deliberately poisoned by neighbors who didn't like their landscaping used as a litterbox. Frankly, I myself have live-trapped cats on my property and delivered them to yonder shelter when I've lived in areas where cats were a particularly bad backyard nuisance; some shelters even have traps to loan out specifically for this purpose. There's just so many great reasons to keep cats inside or at the very least under strict control whenever they're outside...

Gerry

simpleyork
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by simpleyork » July 29th, 2012, 9:15 am

I enjoy letting kids see the reptiles (I have three of my own and one on the way) as well as our tightly knit neighbors, our neighbors love seeing them.

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 29th, 2012, 5:29 pm

Hey, it's later than it should be for this, but let me take a moment to emphasize to simpleyork and readers that I meant nothing personal toward him in my remarks above about cats and their management. It's just that as a lifelong wildlife conservationist, I can't help but speak against cats being allowed loose outdoors whenever I have the opportunity to do so. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from, SY.

Gerry

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 29th, 2012, 8:24 pm

3. Oppose the passage of any local or state ordinances that legalize the maintenance of "managed" (trap/neuter/release) free-ranging cat colonies.
I'm glad that The Wildlife Society's policy statement specifically addresses this issue, as many well-intending but misinformed people have mistakenly come to believe that trap/neuter/release programs are some kind of a solution. They're not.

Gerry

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 30th, 2012, 7:49 pm

John Vanek wrote:Yep, I'm one of the misinformed!
Well, I'd say instead that you were one of the misinformed, John. ;) And it's perfectly understandable why you were then, and it's even more understandable why so many folks are now. Trap/neuter/release programs get so much good press (and even a fair amount of dishonestly positive propaganda), after all, and of course they have a strong natural appeal in that neither euthanasia nor even removal of the animals is involved. It's only when you consider the cold, hard facts of life that the failure of such programs becomes apparent. When I was a graduate student I used to guest lecture for my major professor in his reproductive biology course on the subject of wildlife contraception. I was an obvious choice to do it, having trained from early on in population biology as well as reproductive biology and having experience in the zoo world where contraception can actually be used successfully to manage wildlife populations, but after doing it for him a few times I came to think that maybe he asked it of me mostly because he didn't want to be the one to tell the students those cold, hard facts. The bottom line is that it's difficult or impossible to contracept 100% of a feral animal population (be it cats in an urban setting, horses in the American West or whatever), even a small percentage of reproductively intact animals will very quickly restore the population's full reproductive potential, and of course the ecological damage continues unabated so long as the offending animals are out there, be they contracepted or not.

Gerry

Paul White
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by Paul White » July 31st, 2012, 6:35 am

So, just do mass cullings?

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gbin
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Re: Who else takes animals outside?

Post by gbin » July 31st, 2012, 9:37 am

Yup, get them out of there as humanely but effectively as possible.

Gerry

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Re: Who else takes animals outside? (a little OT)

Post by rtdunham » July 31st, 2012, 1:17 pm

I had a blue-fronted amazon parrot I'd put in the 12-15-foot-tall orange tree in my back yard (st pete, florida) while I'd write on the patio. One day I went into the house for something, got a phone call, and quickly had to head out--forgetting the bird. Hours later I realized my mistake and hurried home. The parrot was fine, but it had methodically rambled over every branch in the tree, and pulled off every leaf. I found it sitting in the very sad looking, bare remains.

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