Well then we have a difference of opinion. I don't think hypocrisy is such a harsh word. It's something we ALL are probably guilty of to some small degree. And this debate here embodies just such a degree. My original statement, back when that word was first thrown out, was directed at someone who said that animals should never be taken from the wild. It was directed at those people sitting to the extreme left side of that camp, and designed only to force such people to acknowledge a gray area. We can reference obscure studies all day long if we want to. I am a chemist, not a psychologist, but in any realm you are going to have to cite some sources before making such a claim. I did get some psychology background during my undergrad, and if memory serves me correctly any and all imprinting claims had little to nothing to do with environmental conditions. Now, can one pull a "stretch and apply" move, so-to-speak, and say that if we have any imprinting at all that it must encompass environment to some degree. I see 2 distinct problems with this argument however. 1. CB animals constantly test their boundaries looking for an out. How many corn snake owners have freaked out because they thought their new baby had escaped only to find him in that irritating gap between the lid and that little lip on the tank? Jack tried pushing his way out here until he was too fat to get up there anymore (which was an irritating few months since he would fall down with a thud and wake me up) Even CB animals know there is a bigger world out there. Take any argument you want. Intrinsic knowledge, the ability to see outside the viv, glimpses of freedom during handling, whatever. Knows you cannot escape to the vast expanses of the world necessarily much worse than knowing you can't escape to the vast expanses of a basement? Trapped is trapped. 2. I haven’t seen your studies. But I HAVE seen those that seem to point in the opposite direction. http://www.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ai/papers/ref3/myowa2005.pdf If imprinting was such a big deal, wouldn't the infant chimp recognize his mother before a month old? This study has been done with all manner of social animals including humans with the same results. Now, I'm applying a study into a different context in the same way that you were. So I cannot presume to know 100% if this applies to the current discussion, but I can tell you what I think. I think that the more primitive you go the less imprinting (or whatever) of any kind there is and the more hardwiring we get. An animal capable of going into feeding mode and latching on and trying to constrict something 100x its size probably doesn't have very complicated thought processes. We tend to personify these animals to a degree that is a little excessive. Even my own girlfriend (bless her heart.... and I have to be nice since she's on these boards too ) will tell me about her geckos "I gave Toby a bath and now he's mad at me! Look at him lying in his hide pouting” but honestly, the next day it's "Oh look at how happy he is sleeping in there !" And to tell you the truth.... there is no measurable difference between the poses. It's something we all do to enjoy our pets a little more. We attribute human emotions to them; we talk to them, heck... I even talk to my snakes and they can’t hear a single thing I say. But do you think that will stop me? Getting back on topic: I tend to believe these animals are highly instinctual, and there is very little we can do to change what they are, whether cb or wc. I follow a single theory of nurture: an old wild snake, which has survived the trials and tribulations of wild life (particularly predation), is not going to be very receptive of handling. I have caught a plethora of red eared sliders when I was younger (summers in northern MN, they do turtle races ) and I can tell you, the adults are awfully bitey. Babies however, not so much. It's hardly scientific, but at least for me it helps to affirm my belief. I feel a little like we are losing the scope of this discussion. I in no way would advocate anybody just going through the wilderness and capturing every animal in sight. I caught an eastern garter (a young one too, which is rare) just last week. Checked him out for a bit, and then put him out in the deep grass so the dogs wouldn’t find him. If I were to happen upon something that is just really cool, if there is a possibility of domesticating it I'd take it home with me. We all have our own rules governing this topic. Anyone who condemns someone else for actively capturing animals and giving them proper care IS a little hypocritical in my book. I'm not saying to you all "go grab you nets! We're going hunting'!" I'm just saying I should not be criticized for leaving my options open. It's a lot like a vegetarian chastising someone because of the ordeals of the cow that ended up in his burger, or a hybrid-electric driver going after someone else because of the pollutants their car is spewing. It's a little self righteous (and I've actually witnessed both of those things). To sum up (sorry, I realize this was a long one) to say that capturing wild animals is in some way morally wrong IS hypocritical. I'm sorry if that offends you. You can say it's not for you, but there is so much wrong with calling it wrong.