Before You Decide - The Commitment


The aardvark is nicknamed 'the impossible animal' by my South African supplier. They can excavate several feet in a few seconds. He says these animals are so difficult to catch, care for and house that he charges 10 times their market value. That way, he gets very, very few orders for them. The lesser anteater as well as other edentates can bleed to death without the proper diet because they MUST have food with additional Vitamin K. The three-toed sloth is docile, but the two-toed sloth is vicious, dangerous and aggressive, much different than its stoic appearance. They must have extremely high humidity and only defecate once a week. The blood of striped grass mouse can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals if absorbed into a cut or nick in the skin. These are just some examples of things you may not be told by your vendor.

This text was written with mixed feelings and emotions. What originally started out as a saddle-stitched booklet created as a companion for my small mammal seminars evolved in my 50 Small Exotic Mammal Book and this site. There was a hunger in the industry for the information this site and that book contains. I felt that some of the animals that could find their way into the exotic industry today had very highly specialized nutritional and environmental requirements. I felt the need to research, compile and offer this 'nuts and bolts' information on the care and well-being of these wonderfully exotic animals who evolved with such unique individuality. I wanted to show the facts as I knew them not as someone selling those animals might present them. I hoped that I might help both the prospective owners take a hard and realistic look and make a rational decision before adding these sometimes delicate, sometimes dangerous, sometimes impossible animals to their collection. I hoped if they did have or wish to obtain any of them, they would, knowing the facts, make the ultimate commitment for the proper CARE of these animals.

CARE is what it is all about. It is not owning. It is respect for the animals.


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