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Old 07-14-04, 08:31 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Originally posted by TPiorun
Also, a side note.. I dont think making derogatory comments about a certain individual we all know (ie cutting her up.. etc..) helps our cause. If you want to be taken seriously.. act serious.. not all this ******** Rhetoric it serves no purpose!
Agreed in many ways. Not only in writing letters to be taken seriously, but also to avoid any libel/slander on public forums. Please stick to facts, no mudslinging or heresay.



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I just sent them a nasty letter....
Nasty isn't the best way to get across a point. Calm, well-worded, intelligent arguements are the ones most likely to be considered.
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Old 07-14-04, 08:39 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I agree with both Linds and Terri... though.. you have to admit that sometimes throwing a bit of mud here and there is fun and a great stress reliever! Besides... do you know how much people PAY for mud baths?
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Old 07-14-04, 08:45 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Besides... do you know how much people PAY for mud baths?
Heh heh, do you know how much people pay to WATCH mud baths?? LOL!


Great job Brad M. and Henry P. If we all stick together, we an hopefully overcome all of these extremist attitudes.
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Old 07-14-04, 08:45 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally posted by annieb_mice
I agree with both Linds and Terri... though.. you have to admit that sometimes throwing a bit of mud here and there is fun and a great stress reliever! Besides... do you know how much people PAY for mud baths?
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As much as it may be fun, we do have a policy here when it comes to mentioning Stores and the likes in threads such as this.. However, i think everyone showing thier support and banding together for such a great cause speaks volumes for the members we have on this site.. So, from here on in, if you guys don't mind, can we please leave names out of it?? Other wise, the threads gonna have to be taken down..
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Old 07-15-04, 11:17 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Food for thought.
I just want to mention that the BC CTV reporter said that BC CTV received over 150 emails yesterday morning. I just want to say well done people. That was awesome. I also received an email from BC CTV thanking me for responding to the RRR story. So, it shows me that you write - they will listen. Good on them!

It renews your faith in people and that not all voices crying in the wilderness are lost on the masses. We have to speak up!

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Old 07-15-04, 03:14 PM   #51 (permalink)
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What a shame that the python's clutch was destroyed. I totally agree with your post, this all could have been avoided. While I haven't read everyone else's posts, I'm sure they are just as disappointed in this story as I was.
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Old 07-17-04, 01:27 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Just curious... I just heard that apparently some of the eggs were sold to a breeder in the U.S. and that apparently they have also sold baby boas and such in the past... has anyone else heard anything? If these things are true.... they will be caught in a VERY public lie and I can't see them digging their way out of that one...
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Old 07-17-04, 02:16 PM   #53 (permalink)
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RRR hypocracy

When I was young and just started getting envolved in the fantastic world of reptiles, I donated some of my time to the RRR. Unaware and naive to their extremist and ridiculous politics I voluntered for about 6 weeks. I became increasingly more and more aware of their backwards and inhumane meathods of husbandry.

This following story was the reason I left (among many other reasons!). I was confronted by the director of the RRR and told that they had just found 20 Boa Constrictor (Imperator) newborns in their enclosure. Thats right, thay had bred snakes in an already overcrowded hell hole. They told me to keep quiet and then asked if I could house them at my home. It was not possible for me to accomodate these snakes and I quit the RRR with the overwhelming sense of disbelief they would actually house male and female snakes together and keep the neonates. Now i do not know what the ultimate fate of the snakes was, but I would not rule out sale.

These people are beyond reason, and I trully hope stories like the one I have just told you will cripple their reputation to the general public. Especially those who donate their money for their "good cause".

Thank you,

Sean Muir
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Old 07-18-04, 07:38 AM   #54 (permalink)
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I haven't seen the TV spots, but I did hear a little about this while on the road this week.

No doubt, I don't have a high opinion of the 'Schrammites'. This extremely negative publicity stunt only lowers it further. Good luck out there in BC, guys, and if any more by-laws get proposed you can be sure I'll send letters.

However, a couple of things I'd mention in light of some of the comments here.

Certainly, pythons don't bite and constrict in defense. Taking away her eggs isn't going to result in anything more than a few defensive bites in a worst case scenario where an absolute idiot who couldn't figure out that you could use a hook to control the snakes head reached in to grab the eggs. However, it would be wrong to say that these animals cannot be dangerous. Even defensive bites from large specimens can be a problem. Anyone remember the pic of Dave Barker's big retic bite on his thigh? I think it was DB, anyway. That bite could have caused life threatening injury (perforation of the femoral artery). Sure, it was unusual, but it can happen. Also, even a 10' rock or burm, in a constriction (i.e. feeding accident) theoretically has enough strength to kill an adult human male under some circumstances. Recall the Mark Neville incident in Brampton, ON in the early '90s?

While I would certainly refute the statements made about rock pythons 'eating kids', etc., or that one mistake could be his last, I wouldn't say that they're really safe animals either.

I personally see no problem with them destroying the eggs. Do we really need more rock pythons floating around in the pet trade? I'd do the same if our burm laid fertile eggs. I have done it with other things, and I know other people who have done it as well. I find it hard to believe that it has made the national news, but that's the media for you. Sad, indeed, that it has been so one-sided.

I also wouldn't crucify them for housing the snakes together. I'd rather see them do a good job (not saying they do, though) of one big cage for a snake or two than having two not-so-good ones. The companionship stuff is simply crap, but I think a reasonable case can be made for housing them together to save space and/or money. Sure, it adds some risk of incidents, but it can be done reasonably safely.

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Old 07-18-04, 11:31 PM   #55 (permalink)
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There was another article in the Surrey Leader today about the RRR. Once again, Mr. Springate complained about reptile owners, claiming they were quick to critisize, but no one has stepped forward with offers of "help."
Unfortunately, this article isn't posted online yet, but here is the website to the newspaper, perhaps it will be posted in the next day or so.
www.surreyleader.com
I recall several times when the WSPCR has approached the RRR with offers of help. Most recently was only a few months ago when Amanda wrote them a letter.
Also... apparently they donated all the eggs to a local University for "experiments" and to determine embryo growth at different stages, and comparing it to other egg-laying species.
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Old 07-19-04, 01:32 AM   #56 (permalink)
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From the Surrey Leader opinion page (editor's opinion):

Who thought a snake and her eggs could generate such public reaction. However, Curvy the rock python and her doomed offspring did exactly that last week, when their caretaker - Paul Springate of the Rainforest Reptile Refuge - told the media he would have to destroy her 42 eggs, calling it a prime example of why people should not own exotic pets.
The response - primarily from the community of reptile fans and owners - was quick and vociferous.
Letter-writers accused Springate of being irresponsible, the media of being sensational, and the refuge of perpetrating inhumane treatment of the creatures in its care - which number more than 400 involving 66 species.
People argued that a male snake should not have been allowed to live in the same enclosure as Curvy, and hence her eggs would not have been fertilized (she would have laid a clutch anyway).
Springate was chastised for his descriptions of the dangers the snake posed.
And particularly damning were comments that the refuge keeps its animals in unhealthy and overcrowded conditions, while adhering to a no-adoption policy.
Clearly, the publicity Springate wished to bring to the plight of the refuge and its creatures backfired to some degree, although he said he has also received calls of support.
Apparently, there wasn't much thought given to the issue of the snakes co-habitating, nor was it particularly useful for Springate to dramatize the snake's "nasty" nature in the way he did, which raised the ire of reptile lovers.
We accept the criticism that the media did not ask some key questions, nor did it offer other research.
However, that said, the wave of negative reaction that resulted is unfortunate, and not just a little hypocritical.
The Rainforest Reptile Refuge is the only one of its type in the Lower Mainland. Springate took it over from other operators last fall. He has so many creatures in his care that he is trying not to accept any more, although people keep dumping their unwanted pets on his doorstep.
Obviously, there is a huge need for such a shelter, and it confirms beyond any doubt Springate's key point - that far too many people who take on exotic pets don't know how to care for them, or lose interest, to the animal's despair.
Curiously, not one of the critics who e-mailed or called to criticize offered assistance, although several suggested the refuge should rescind its no-adoption policy.
Springate says he is unwilling to put his charges up for adoption, because it potentially puts them at risk of poor care or abandonment yet again.
None of the critics suggested any other alternatives.
We accept and appreciate there is a community of reptile aficionados and owners out there who truly know about and care for their special pets.
However, we also have no doubt that exotic pets represent a level of commitment and knowledge that a significant percentage of first-time owners simply don't possess or pursue, and as a result, the creatures suffer.
That's why recently we strongly recommended in this space that this city - all cities, in fact - adopt bylaws banning the sale, trade and ownership of exotic creatures.
We too would like to see the demise of the Rainforest Reptile Refuge - not because of how it operates, but because it is no longer needed.
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Old 07-19-04, 03:39 AM   #57 (permalink)
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I just sent the Surrey Leader a very long email. I didn't blow up on them or anything, just offered another side of the arguement.

Quote:
I personally see no problem with them destroying the eggs. Do we really need more rock pythons floating around in the pet trade? I'd do the same if our burm laid fertile eggs. I have done it with other things, and I know other people who have done it as well. I find it hard to believe that it has made the national news, but that's the media for you. Sad, indeed, that it has been so one-sided.
That is completely unethical. What would you do if your dog had puppies? If you don't want them to have young, don't breed them! It really is that simple. Don't house them together if you're not prepared for the consiquences. I can't believe that people see these animals as being so disposible.

The problem is with the impulse buyers. Not with us that are committed to keeping these animals in a ethical and humane manner.

Why isn't the same argument applies to dogs, cats, even horses. The local SPCA here isn't teeming over with reptiles but has an abundance of dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, rats, birds, and so on. If you follow the logic of people like Rain Forest Reptiles, then these animals need to banned too.

I for one am glad this story found it's way on to national news media. What effects one area will effect us all.
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Old 07-19-04, 07:31 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Not a lot of time this morning, since I'm leaving for Sudbury (and then to Kenora) around lunch, but I just had to comment on this:

"That is completely unethical. What would you do if your dog had puppies? If you don't want them to have young, don't breed them! It really is that simple. Don't house them together if you're not prepared for the consiquences. I can't believe that people see these animals as being so disposible. "

Perhaps we hold different views on things. I don't see the eggs as 'live animals'. They haven't hatched yet. I am aware of the egg usage by the university researcher mentioned in the paper (he was at U. of Calgary). I sent him eggs as well. I see absolutely nothing unethical about sending him eggs to use in his research. I was happy to do it; we need to encourage more basic research into reptiles- very little has been done compared to most other animals. I also see no problem with feeding eggs to other animals, or simply throwing them out (though that is wasteful and needlessly takes up landfill space- I prefer to recycle them).

Not a very useful comparision to puppies. You can easily (and fairly cheaply) get your dog spayed or neutered. Try it with a snake! I'm currently seeking a vet who will 'spay' an adult burm, and haven't had much luck yet.

What is the difference between destroying eggs and euthanizing unwanted animals? Is this worse than killing rodents to use as feeders? How so? Are you aware that for some species (which generally don't make good 'pets', in my opinion), people feed them other species of snakes, or even more commonly lizards, and sometimes they're live? Is this worse than feeding live fish to a water snake? Earthworms to a garter snake?

The ethics involved are not so simple, and not everyone shares exactly your version. My point was this- don't belabour an issue that could be seen either way, especially by the general public. Focus on the stronger arguments if you want to convince people that what was going on was a greatly exaggerated media stunt, which it certainly was.

Gotta go, be back in a couple of weeks!

Jeff Hathaway
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Old 07-19-04, 11:02 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Rainforest Reptile Refuge enters Damage Control Mode

I have never seen such a back peddle and now blaming everyone that we are not lifting a finger to help. My question is this "Why are you not taking the help offered?" WSPCR have on numerous occasions asked about helping, theyíre offers refused.

Also, .. I didnít know Snakes could reproduce without a partner? Is this a new scientific discovery the RRR has found? I would like to read the paper on this... I think they are confusing sperm retention and calling it spontaneous fertilization which there is no proof of...

I find it all finger pointing and the big blame game. Sad that they canít take responsibility for the chaos they have created.

T. Piorun
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http://www.peacearchnews.com/

Refuge defends Curvy's care Critics question why African rock python allowed to breed in the first place
Rainforest Reptile Refuge Society's Paul Springate checked on Burmese python Hiss Thursday.

By Tracy Holmes
Staff Reporter

A storm of criticism has flooded the Rainforest Reptile Refuge this week, following operator Paul Springate's highly publicized removal of an African rock python's eggs from one of the refuge's longest residents.
Since taking the event to media last week, Springate, has been inundated with letters and phone calls from across the country.
Some accuse him of "inhumane practices" and claim he is irresponsible and uninformed about the creatures he is caring for.
Others chastise the 29-year-old for allowing the snake to breed in the first place. The 42 eggs removed from under Curvy's coils were at least the python's fifth clutch since her arrival at the refuge 10 years ago.
Still others contest his statements that the snakes can't be tamed, and don't belong in captivity. Prior to removing the eggs, Springate described Curvy's species as the "second nastiest snake in the world," and emphasized one wrong move with her "could be my last."
"Mr. Springate is totally incorrect about reptiles not being friendly, nor tameable," wrote one critic.
Another stated: "The RRR has long been known to keep their animals in unhealthy, overcrowded conditions and are clearly irresponsible stewards of these animals."
Springate said Thursday the backlash went beyond what he'd expected, and defended his actions.
He noted the majority of critics are those who support the exotic pet trade, and own reptiles themselves.
Many he'd never even heard of before Curvy's situation hit the air. Not one has ever called or stepped forward to help with any of the animals' care, he said. Not before, and not now.
He is, however, receiving calls of support from people who've seen presentations by the refuge, and others who admit they don't understand what goes into caring for such animals but nonetheless appreciate his efforts.
The number of visitors to the refuge has increased since the situation was broadcast, as have applications to volunteer.
As for Curvy being allowed to breed, Springate said the python would've laid eggs with or without her male partner, Nigel, in her enclosure. The snakes lay eggs periodically. The only difference is, with Nigel's help, they were fertilized.
He said the snakes can't be "fixed" like cats and dogs.
He admitted, in the hustle and bustle of taking over the refuge, separating the snakes to prevent breeding never occurred to him.
Former operators Clarence and Christine Schramm had kept the snakes together at least six years, he said.
Curvy and Nigel have never fought, and despite reports they are solitary animals, seem to enjoy each other's company. They often sit on and with each other, Springate said.
"I'd never spent the time to think it was wrong to keep the rock pythons together," he said.
"I was simply following protocol. When these animals are imprisoned and all their rights are taken away, at least they have each other."
University of Victoria herpetologist Pat Gregory has studied snakes for 47 years. Unfamiliar with the week's chaos, he said Friday he doesn't see an issue with the two snakes being housed together.
In fact, he said he's contemplating research on the social benefits of snakes living communally.
Springate noted in captivity, it's impossible to replicate a snakes' natural habitat.
The refuge, which has a no-kill, no adoption policy, is home to 400-plus animals from 66 species. Some arrived in critical condition. All were abandoned by people who bought into the novelty of owning an exotic pet.
Though the refuge stopped accepting the unwanted animals a year ago, Springate said they continue to field hundreds of calls from people wanting to get rid of their pets, and often find reptiles dumped at their front door.
Care of the animals is a dawn-to-dusk job, he said.
He went public with Curvy's story for two reasons: to help raise the refuge's profile and possibly get some help running the non-profit refuge; and, to show the public damage caused by the exotic pet trade.
"No endangered species, for any reason whatsoever, should be owned by a private person," he said.
"No one can give these animals the proper care outside the wild. We're doing everything we can. If these people have such a problem with it, then come help me. They're all willing to point the finger."
On another note, the publicity has brought something positive out of destruction of Curvy's offspring.
Media coverage alerted University of B.C. scientists to the opportunity to study the embryos at different stages of development.
The facial embryology will be compared with other animal embryos, like chicks, and contribute to advancing knowledge on development.
"These eggs are not going to waste," Springate said.
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Old 07-19-04, 12:01 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Ex-SQUEEZE me?!?! No one has offered to help?!? What the <insert expletive here> has the WSPCR offered on numerous occassions?!?
<sigh> Mr. Springate has made so many inconsistant comments in the last week or so. I'm not going to even attempt to list them... I'm sure we all know what they are. :P
But some that stick out are the reasons he gives for housing the two snakes together in the FIRST place.... They need companionship... he didn't think about seperating them... he was following "protocol"... he doesn't have the money to separate them... and the list goes on. About the only REASONABLE excuse he's given has been that there is not enough money to build another enclosure.
Someone made some comments on the WSPCR Yahoogroups list ... Who is the Veterinarian for the RRR? What kind of qualifications does Mr. Springate have in order to be running a "reptile zoo." (RRR charges admission to see animals...)
The RRR is more predatory then the "feared" rock pythons they house. They feed on public sympathy and every so often it rears it's ugly head again and creates more media frenzy in order to feed on more uneducated people. I'm glad to see that some reporters are finally starting to see the real "beast" behind the "pretty facade" it puts on.
I'm guessing with all the press this little publicity stunt has gotten there will soon be another "exotic animal" bylaw that will be "pushed" through. :P Question is... where THIS time?
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