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  #11  
Old 08-05-2012, 08:47 AM
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I hate the whole idea.
Letting nature take it's course is one thing.. but snakes, gators or whatever sitting in a contained area and dropping a prey animal in there with them is NOT NATURAL or fair.
and doing it for entertainment is just...messed up.

I saw a video of people letting their ferret loose with a few mice in the bathtub and I was absolutely horrified. The mice were not killed quickly, they couldn't escape, the ferrets had NO idea what they were doing... it was painful to watch and IMO cruel.

Maybe not for gators but I know a lot of the time domestic snakes/other animals don't really KNOW how to catch prey/kill effectively so it does end up being a slow torturous process. I've also seen snakes get pretty injured from rats/mice.

Either way. It's not something I support.
Animals in the wild can be part of the circle of life and catch their own wild prey where there is a fair chance for either side.
but IMO if possible (aka: if the animal is willing to eat already dead prey) domesticated animals in a contained environment should be fed already dead animals rather then put prey through the stress of being trapped in a contained environment with a predator for entertainment of people.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2012, 08:48 AM
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I wouldn't do it. If they eat the meat there's really no reason to feed them live other than giving people a cheap thrill, which isn't ok to me. Like a little rattie snuff film.
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2012, 09:06 AM
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I wouldn't do it.

If live food were offered by the zoo keeper as a form of environmental enrichment? Eh, sure, if it was really that important for the carnivore in question.

Live food "on demand" from the public? No. That's just...wrong.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:31 AM
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It all sounds a little cheap thrillish for me. Yuck.
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  #15  
Old 08-05-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grab View Post
I would not. I really doubt that a rat (or even several) is adding much nutrition to a large alligator's diet..so to me, that means that the live food choice is for the "entertainment" of the crowd, which I don't agree with.
Add me into this too.

I think I'd be watching the expressions of the people who were shoving the animals to the gators more than the feeding . . . that would tell you a lot.
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  #16  
Old 08-05-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grab View Post
I would not. I really doubt that a rat (or even several) is adding much nutrition to a large alligator's diet..so to me, that means that the live food choice is for the "entertainment" of the crowd, which I don't agree with.
^Agree^

Other than the fact snakes give me the heebie-jeebies, that's another reason I wouldn't/couldn't have one. I wouldn't have the stomach to condemn a live animal to be stalked/killed with no chance to escape.
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  #17  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:01 PM
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Hmmmm... yeah. Allowing people to buy live animals to feed to the animals? That's pretty sick....

A money spinner.
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  #18  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:20 PM
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I agree with everyone else.

I find it wrong.
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  #19  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grab View Post
I would not. I really doubt that a rat (or even several) is adding much nutrition to a large alligator's diet..so to me, that means that the live food choice is for the "entertainment" of the crowd, which I don't agree with.
the quantity is small but the nutrition is complete, the small feedings keep them active. like other reptiles, if they get large meals crocodilians become very inactive. small zoos really have to work harder to keep up attendance & funding, so while it offends some people i see this as smart business that benefits the display animals in the long run.
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  #20  
Old 08-05-2012, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops2 View Post
the quantity is small but the nutrition is complete, the small feedings keep them active. like other reptiles, if they get large meals crocodilians become very inactive. small zoos really have to work harder to keep up attendance & funding, so while it offends some people i see this as smart business that benefits the display animals in the long run.
^ This is true. Crocodilians are one of the most intelligent groups of reptile, they have complex social structures and provide long term care for their young. They're pretty advanced and intelligent creatures and could definitely suffer boredom, which in some animals leads to depression and other health problems (I had a rescued iguana with issues along those lines).

There are pros and cons to live vs. dead prey. I never fed live unless I had an animal that refused pre-killed and would have otherwise starved, partly for the snake's safety (being mauled by a rat or getting parasites) and partly out of consideration for the prey.

Now, if these guys are able to source their live food from places they can verify are parasite free and aren't exposed to disease pathogens, then that's taken out of the equation.

I personally wouldn't pay to feed a live rat to an alligator. I just don't think I could do it. The ones I had to feed live to the foster BPs were stunned first.

If the alligators slowly mauled them to death, that would be messed up. If they just crunch and swallow, at least it's over quickly.

Out of curiosity, would people object to live fish being dropped down the chute instead? And do you feel that people shouldn't feed live fish to their predatory aquarium fish? I mean, people can get frozen bloodworms and pre-killed fish, etc. and most oscars and things will happily eat them.

ETA: I think it would sit a lot better with me, if they had keepers go out periodically and feed them, and people who wanted to watch could watch.
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