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Here is a question...

Post by Warren_Booth on Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:01 am

And it may get some negative reactions, but it is something I have been thinking about for a while.

I frequent a few online snake forums. Although I am not in the UK to buy snakes, I do check out the classifieds now and again. What I am seeing within increasing regularity is that one month we see somebody buying a snake, plastering pictures all over the place about it, then a month or two later its on the classifieds for sale. Generally some excuse like "need to slim the collection down a bit" is posted with it. Then, within a few weeks, that person has another new snake. And the cycle continues. Now, of course, its none of my business, and what people do with their animals is up to them. To me, however, although my collection consists primarily of snakes that are breeders, or are destined to be, I rarely sell a snake other than those that I produce that are surplus. I hate to see the easy come, easy go kind of attitude with reptiles as I feel it ultimately gives the hobby, and those keeping them, a bad reputation.

The otehr thing I see is people getting a snake/lizard, then three months later they have a collection that could rival some good zoos, in terms of numbers and diversity. Then, a few months later that person has vanished after selling their collection.

Whats your opinions people?

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Re: Here is a question...

Post by jonty on Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:19 am

Hi Warren,

I have considered this question myself.

My thoughts on it are that it could be impulse buying, in that something is great until the novelty wears off then it's onto something different. All of a sudden you see this fantastic looking picture of a snake on the old tinternet then it's straight onto the classifieds or down the old rep shop to get it, show off all the pictures on the forum's but when all the interest dies down they get bored with it like yesterdays news then up on the classifieds it goes.

I give everything i buy a lot of thought before i buy it and intend to keep it through until the end of it's life unless my circumstances change very drastically and i am forced to sell. That said it would bloody kill me to part with any of my snakes.

Marty
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Re: Here is a question...

Post by morelia on Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:24 am

I have strong opinions on this too Warren, and have noticed it. Its as if reptiles are easily expendable / moved on without much thought compared to some other animals. Its not just with big reps like Burms and Retics either, it seems to be everything. Its not as simple and clear-cut as this though, and there are many reasons for it.....
one reason for it is that someone will get a snake only to find out its no longer what they wanted or that they can't care for it, only to move it on. In other cases, people's circumstances change and they find themselves lacking in time and / or money and so generally their animals get moved on as a result. Other times, people may get a good offer on an animal or even get it for free, and so snatch it up only later to decide that their 'impulse' addition was not such a good idea after all. We've all been there at some point, and any serious rep keeper I know has went through this phase only to later learn that as their commitment to the hobby grows, their purchases must have a definite goal and not be impulsive. Below are a few examples from myself, to illustrate how things can happen unexpectedly. I'm sure many people can identify with my examples and also add to them.

Personally, I have had some unexpected things happen this year which has seen me sell animals for various reasons.....increased working hours at the start of the year made me decide to sell a few snakes so I could cope with what I had left, as it turns out my working hours are back to normal now, but at the time I had to make a decision on something I didn't know the longevity of. Sometimes poo happens and you have to err on the side of caution.

A few months ago I got the unexpected opportunity to add an adult pair of Bredl's pythons to my collection and so decided to move my yearling pair on as I only need 1 pair for my breeding plans.

When I learned that a 100% het anery 2 dwarf boa I had was 50% Honduran Firebelly and 50% Sonoran rather than a pure Sonoran, I decided to sell it on as I want to keep that line of Sonorans pure in my collection.

I then decided to offer for sale 2 male Jungle Jags I had, because I got the chance to purchase an adult male Jungle Jag from a good friend of mine.....so my breeding plans changed a little and they were sold on.

Most recently I decided to sell a yearling female Jag too - I didn't expect my neonate Sonorans too be born so soon and the rack space initially housing a few young carpets was then needed for the baby Sonorans. I've managed to juggle things around but this girl just doesn't fit into the new viv layout and so shes off to a new home :)

I don't take selling any of my snakes lightly as most of them have taken me a long time to track down, wait for, and finally add to my collection; many have also been specifically hand-picked for breeding projects I have. I also know where they have all gone to and have turned down potential buyers when something didn't feel quite right about the sale.

The above is not meant as me 'explaining myself', geez at the end of the day as long as we abide by common sense and take animal welfare into consideration, its up to the owner to do as they please - but I thought detailing a few of my recent sales would provide a short account of reasons - valid reasons - why some keepers do offer their snakes for sale on occasion.

I am aware that many people value their animals much less than I and sell more readily, if I'm honest I can't entirely understand this as for me, each addition is carefully thought out well beforehand and they are usually animals I have waited a long time to get. I plan additions to my collection over a 12-month period, sometimes longer, so any sales are thought through with the same care and consideration.

I'm not slating anyone, just saying that I don't entirely understand how some keepers can give up their animals so readily. Maybe it relates to the level of passion and dedication they have for the particular animals they own? I know I've been very tempted to sell a lot of animals when the going has got tough, but ultimately I know that when the going gets good again I'll thank myself for holding my ground....and I have. Who knows. Its a complex topic.
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Re: Here is a question...

Post by trunx on Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:56 pm

early on i got snakes for the sake of it, who didnt. but then after a while i only got thing i had plans for. i got out of keeping a few times, so everything went, then i got back into it so stuff came back, different plans usually. i have been out of snakes for over 6 months now. toying with the idea of getting a group of atb's for a while now, but still havent commited either way. now my torts are different, they will never go, ever. but i have seen alot of new purchases for sale recently. i thought it could have been reccesion linked but as warren said, some people sell a new snake the buy another new snake. i dont really have any strong views on it, when someone sells, you dont know their reasons for it.................
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Re: Here is a question...

Post by Emma M on Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:52 pm

I have been keeping reptiles now for around 8 years and I can count on my one hand how many I have sold on, for different reason- the blood python hated the world I bought him as an adult, he was too big for me to cope with on my own ( it cornered my bf in the bathroom one day!) 2 golden tegus I just didnt have the time for so I swapped them for a boa, the bosc was the same just didnt have time to spend with him anymore and he went to a fab home where there is very few reps so he gets lots of attention. And finally my tort Herbie that now belongs to Trunx, same thing I didnt feel he was getting all the attention he needed and I didnt get an outside run built for him in time so felt it best to go to someone that would look after him and give him the time he needs.

I put the corns up recently as I did think the collection was getting out of hand but have since changed my mind and no longer want to part with them as they have been with me for a good while and I have got attached to the little beggars!

All of the animals that I did part with, I had had for a good while and made sure they were going to a good home and somewhere I could check up on their progress.

I have noticed the same trend, i think alot of it must be impulse buying in some ways. I mean I have bought somethings purely on impulse but I made sure I would be able to house them comfortably for the rest of their lives or at least for a very long time!

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Re: Here is a question...

Post by moloch gibbon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:25 am

I think eveyone has raised some excellent points on this thought-provoking thread. I suppose that there will always be numerous factors why someone parts company with one or all of their animals: lack of interest after the initial 'fix' of getting a new animal; cost of upkeep; unsutablity of animal for the owner (and vice-versa, I may add!); the need to move an animal on due to domestic pressures, loss of job, moving house to smaller premises, or other personal reasons. All these factors - and more - can happen to even the most experienced of keepers, who, for whatever reason may have no option but to move animals on.

I would like to add my own 'take' as well. As someone who is lucky to work with animals for a living, I can honestly say that not all species ' float my boat', by this I mean that even large, beautiful and charasmatic species, which before you cared for them, made you wish you did, can, if not quite loose their appeal after a while, not catch your imagination as they once did. Sometimes the reason for this is subtle. I'll give one example: having worked with Gorillas and Chimps, and having found them tremendous animals to work with, I've found that the Gibbons that I look after hold more appeal for me. The reason for this is they are livelier, more in-your-face, and always up to something; they therefore hold my interest better. What I'm trying to say is that you don't always end up marrying the first person you fall in love with, sometimes you need to find someone more compatable to you and your lifestyle. Perhaps it's the same with your selection of animals in that you need to keep a species to really see if it's for you; if it's not, them perhaps it's better being with someone who really wants it.
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Re: Here is a question...

Post by midori on Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:41 am

I don't think the situation is unique to just snakes or reptiles, I have noticed it happening with dogs/cats/small furries as well. I would more likely rehome my children than my dogs/cats, but am more comfortable with selling a reptile on due to the fact that they don't form attachments like dogs etc do. That said, I do think some people buy without thinking and sell very quickl, and some animals must get passed around as awful lot, which can't be good for them.

I have built up my snake collecton rather quickly. Starting with a corn for my son (who had nagged for three years, so it wasn't an impulse buy) on New Years day, and currently having 23 royals and 9 corns. However, I previously kept lizards for over ten years, most of which were adult rehomes/rescues, and all of which eventually died with me of 'natural causes', none were sold on. I then had a break from reptiles for a number of years.

I have sold on/swapped a couple of my corns for royals, I admit. Space is at a premium here, and so I am trying to be sensible about numbers. However, I will keep the corns I really want, and have several royals I don't 'need' for breeding purposes (normal males) but will be staying here as they are very poor feeders/aggressive/defensive and because of that I feel are best with an experienced keeper, and I am unlikely to find an experienced keeper who'd want them. So, it's in their best interests to stay here.

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Re: Here is a question...

Post by Tony W on Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:53 am

An interesting observation and one that has elicited not a little interest and comment!

The truth is there is a broad spectrum of reasons why folk collect animals, a long standing or fleeting interest, the novelty factor, the trend factor etc. etc.

Folk with a fleeting interest or possessed of novelty/trend factors are probably among those that collect and after a short period get rid, simply on the basis that they can’t cope with a sizeable collection, didn’t consider the husbandry requirements or because of the novelty/trend gene sport an interest in another area and those afficted with this gene use their collection to finance the same! And then “Shazam!!” they are gone.

However, and in the same breath I myself had to release a relatively sizeable collection some years ago. The departure of my collection then was due to overseas work commitments, at that time I didn’t have the ability to have a third party take care of my collection so it was dispersed [at no cost] to those that were serious in the hobby in the Province at that time. As far as I was and am concerned this was a responsible action as it was correct [at that time].

Right now I’m slowly building a small collection again, yes, I’m still working overseas at present, however, now have an able bodied son [who loves his herping] to take care of the animals in my periodic absences.

I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of fleeting collectors they just don’t have a label tattooed on their head for ID purposes, and don’t forget everyone starts somewhere and at the outset are fortified with the best intentions.

I personally feel [and provided animals are cared for appropriately] we all have to accept this novelty/trend gene possessed by fleeting collectors and be thankful that the gene also provides for natural wastage of the same in our hobby!

All best,

Tony

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