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Bad Zoo (pictures)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dragoness, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Ok, this is the zoo where I work. I have been pushing for improvements in herp care for the 3.5 years I have worked there. Both as a keeper, and an educator. Nothing was done, or even acknowledged. I brought this to the attention of AZA, and it was again ignored. Apparently,. AZA endorses this kind of thing.

    No cages have thermometers or hygrometers, or UVB of any type. Most are room temp and room humidity. In most cases, heat is only provided by lamps visible in the pictures (with one or two species of non-native snakes having an UTH)

    Leopard Geckos.
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    Green Iguana.
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    Red-Eye Tree Frog
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    FBT. Yes, that is a critter keeper.
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    WTF
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    Barred Tiger Salamander
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    Children's Python
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    African fat Tail Gecko
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    BTS (Top) and Bearded Dragons (Center & Bottom). No heating is provided. Lighting is fluorescent only. No UVB. No hides, in some cases.
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    Prehensile-Tailed Skink and Savannah Monitor enclosures. No heat or UVB for either. Nor humidity.
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    Common Boa. On his 3rd or 4th RI. Theonly heat he has is that red heat lamp. The ceiling of that enclosure is screen, not closed. None of the heat goes very far... They only provide heat when he is sick.
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    Tortoises. This is how they are kept during the winter. During warmer months, they have 2 enclosures, each 8x8, and sand substrate. One enclosure houses the Sulcata, Box Turtle, and one Gopher Tortoise. The other has One box turtle, 5 gopher tortoises, and a red footed tortoise.
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    American Alligator. That's right. that alligator is 4 years old. Not quite 3 feet long.
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  2. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    You know what could save that zoo money since they are so worried about it...getting rid of all those animals!! Adopt them out to good owners who will take care of them! Geez!
     
  3. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    This is unreal. I cannot believe this. Everything is on sand! I don't understand how nothing is done. This breaks my heart...:(
     
  4. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Is that Iguana on SAND?!?!?!?!?!?! :O
     
  5. alicia123

    alicia123 Elite Member

    I agree, that would be a great idea!
     
  6. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Sand has its uses.
     
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yes, so is the African Fat Tail, and the leopard gecko.

    In this case, it's doing a great job shortening lifespans.
     
  8. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    That has me so upset! I thought my frogs could use a better tank, but they are living like royalty compared to those poor little fellas!! What makes me a wee-bit annoyed is how some of the animals have no substrate at all or are obviously too large for their "containers".
     
  9. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I can't believe the lack of UVB and Heat, how do they expect these reptiles to get warm. Shaking my head with that sand, and the lack of greenery in the frog tanks.
    That heat lamp thats in the snake enclosure is joke, heat way up there, doubt that any heat is even getting to him.
    Unbelievable how they are kept, Can't imagine the Sav being in an enclosure that size with that tiny little water dish.
    Crazy stuff! :mad: ;|(|
     
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    The sav is visiting the vet. Usually, that is a one-way trip. Apparently, she hadn't eaten her mice for 2 weeks, and when the vet palpated her, they felt 'a mass' and took her in.

    The cages the Sav, BTS, prehensile tailed skink, and Beardie are in are manufactured by Companion Habitats and have no heat sources at all. There are outlets where you can plug in company brand hot rocks. There are sockets for track lighting. The largest bulbs I could find that would fit those sockets were 40watt track light mini bulbs. There is NO WAY to heat those enclosures, so none of those lizards have basking spots at all.

    The BTS and smaller beardie have a long running history of chronic impaction.
     
  11. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    That just makes me SAD! It is so pitiful- drive the snakes up here on your way...I'll take better care of them WAAAAAAY better than that. I know how angry that makes you Jen- I for one can't blame you. How in the world can a ZOO get away with that????
     
  12. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    The whole situation makes me want to cry. I mean not even $5 for a fake plant for those poor frogs. And the lack of UVB makes me cringe.
     
  13. Boa

    Boa Elite Member

    Yikes that makes me ANGRY and SAD how can those reptiles be alive for all those years living on the sand and without proper lighting and heating. Alot of those herps should have more space to move around.
     
  14. HDreptiles

    HDreptiles Elite Member

    ;|(|:-& (there are no words.)
     
  15. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    Lol you guys make sand seem like it's the most horrible thing in the world. Leo's on sand isn't uncommon, like Mooglebass said, sand has it's uses. Either way, these cages are not what you would call "great" but I have seen a lot worse.


    I saw one place in Florida that had a Bullfrog in an enclosure that had no land mass. Just water mixed with twigs, dirt, mulch and I would assume, fecal matter.

    Another place I went to I noticed they were feeding their tortoises broccoli as a staple(big nono) and all the tortoises had deformed shells with severe pyramiding(proabably some of the worst i've ever seen...and I have seen a lot of pyramiding pictures on google).

    It's a sad fact in the pet business, their will always be people/establishments/companies that just don't care about the quality of life their animals are experiencing. Best we can do is try to help some of the animals and inform the un-informed.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes it does. It's great at the beach, in sand boxes, used as a tamp medium for pavers, etc. It certainly doesn't belong in an iguanas enclosure. lol
    Some reptiles DO reside on sand. Many of those shown do not.

    Sand is horrible for use with most reptiles. The best way to explain the use of sand in enclosures is as follows.

    What happens when you cover the bottom of an enclosure with sand? You create the Sahara Desert. Now please list the animals that would reside in that environment and we can go from there. ;)

    The vast majority of animals kept on sand in captivity do not even live on sand in the wild. I will use the leopard gecko, which as you point out is commonly housed on the stuff, as an example.
    The native habitat is actually the sparse grasslands and the rocky mountain regions. Like every environment in the world (including the rainforest) sand makes up a fraction of the natural terrain. The ground is extremely dense and typically covered in rocks. Those who place sand at the bottom of their enclosure are creating the Sahara Desert. They do not live like that in the wild which is why it is such an issue in captivity. Just because something looks nice doesn't mean it is right.

    Leos are insectivores. They reside where there are insects. Insects reside where there is food for them. (Plants, decaying matter, etc.) They don't live on the sand. Those who do house their geckos on sand may or may not experience issues. Its a gamble. A responsible and caring owner will never take the risk. There is no argument for that.

    If you haven't read this story, I suggest you do:

    Leopard Gecko Sand Impaction X-rays

    It took 14 years for that leo to succumb to an impaction.

    Sand can lead to other issues as well. Renal failure, eye irritations, and prolapsed hemipenes and rectums are also not uncommon. The dangerous one though is the impaction.

    There are two types of impaction that could occur. The first is called an Acute Impaction. An acute impaction is when the Leo swallows a large amount of substrate and it blocks the vital organs used to process food. (Stomach, intestinal tract, etc.) The results of this type of impaction will lead to lethargy, lack of appetite, lack of bowel movements, sand in the stool, etc.

    The other type of impaction, and often the most deadly form, is the chronic impaction. A chronic impaction is the slow accumulation of sand that binds to the lining of the intestinal tract. Over time, and often years, it will create a blockage. This blockage will also have the same detrimental effects as an acute impaction. The biggest problem with this type of impaction is that when it is discovered, it is most often too late to cure.

    Sorry for the long response but this is a subject I have been debating for years and recently have started to get the resources to back it up. Sand is a joke for most reptiles and simply shouldn't be used. I personally think that any owner who intentionally places any animal they know doesn't reside on sand in the wild in an enclosure with sand shouldn't own the reptile. That alone shows they care more about appearance of the enclosure than the animal and that makes the person a horrible owner (or caretaker as in the case of this zoo).
     
  17. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Unfortunately a lot of people use sand, there are some reptiles that can be kept on sand! Sand Skink, Sand Gecko, but I'm sure that they have shortened lives because of the sand.
     
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    A lot of herps can live in poor conditions for years before succumbing to the bad husbandry. Many of the reptiles in this department have health records with a track record of avoidable ailments.

    The leopard geckos are missing toes.

    The boa has recurring RIs

    The BTS, savannah monitor and Beardies have a BM every couple of months.

    We replace our FBTs about once a year because they die.
     
  19. Anthony14

    Anthony14 Elite Member

    It's all business, to the common eye the tanks look "pretty" and that means that all the animals must be happy and everything must be fine and dandy.

    I've witnessed some horrible conditions for animals like the examples I gave above and to the "average joe" they think that's how it should be and if the animal is skinny, that's how it's supposed to look.

    I remember when I saw the turtles with the WORST pyramiding i've seen, all the other people looking at them were like "Ohhh their so big" and "Their shells look neat".

    I think the main problem is just a lack of education. If you aren't a reptile enthusiast or owner...you generally know nothing about them at all.

    My friends 14 year old brother came over yesterday and he thought my leopard gecko could snap my finger with a bite, he asked if my snake was poisonous and he thought that when tortoises were born they didn't have shells and asked me how they get in it.

    While the comments he made had me laughing, it's just weird to think about how little most people know about reptiles. Heck, half the kids at my school don't even know we have snakes in Hamilton, let alone a venomous specie. Yet on any given day I go field herping during lunch by the school I can catch 2-3 garters, the odd milksnake and very rarely a redbelly or brown snake.
     
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    THe really sad part about this is that the beginner keeper will look at the way the enclosures are set up, think its appropriate, and set theirs up in the same way.
    After all a zoo would know the right way to do it,.... right?
    Obviously NOT!
     

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