April 14, 1987 |
John O'Reilly would hand-feed raw chicken to the creature in the basement of his father's Pottstown tuxedo shop as he watched it grow from eight inches to five feet. He called it simply The Gator. The slow-moving, sun-loving reptile outgrew a glass tank in the store, so O'Reilly filled a sunken spot in the dark, unused basement with about five inches of water and made a pond. A few alligator-lengths away, he spread sand and lit the imitation beach with a sunlamp. "He would eat his food in the water," O'Reilly said.
November 23, 1989 |
By now, Beverly Oliver is used to the look of alarm on customers' faces when closing time nears at Charlie's Discount Pet Center in Montgomeryville. Somehow, the prairie dogs know it's time to doze. One will lie flat on its back, paws pointing skyward. "One of your prairie dogs is dead," customers timidly tell her. No, she assures them, it's just sleeping. Sure enough, by 9 p.m., all the prairie dogs are asleep in the same position in a corner of their glass cage. In the Philadelphia area, prairie dogs have joined ferrets and miniature pigs as exotic pets.
October 25, 2011 |
ON WHAT should have been an ordinary Wednesday in Zanesville, Ohio, last week, school was canceled and residents were urged to stay in their homes. Fifty dangerous animals - lions, bears, wolves and cheetahs - had been set loose by private owner Terry Thompson before he committed suicide. Local law enforcement later killed most of the aggressive animals before they could harm members of the community. As rare and shocking as this story was, people who own exotic pets are not so unusual.
November 28, 1994 |
Holiday shoppers weren't just cramming the malls this weekend. About 9,000 people sought out everything from African pygmy hedgehogs to microwaveable bird food at the second annual Exotic Pet Showcase at the Valley Forge Convention Center. "There are a lot of different people that come to something like this," said organizer Vicki Clark. "There's a whole reptile crowd, and another crowd just for the ferrets. " One could say there was a bird crowd, a mouse crowd, and a pig crowd as well.
December 2, 1996 |
It was National Geographic, Wild Kingdom, and the neighborhood pet store all in one. Hundreds of people, from collectors to the curious, turned out to gift-shop for a favorite animal, search for an exotic pet, or just stare during the Expo USA Exotic Pet Showcase at the Fort Washington Expo Center over the weekend. About 8,000 people visited the fourth annual showcase, said Judy Van Dunk, who helped organize it. They found llamas, emus, potbellied pigs, boa constrictors, iguanas and other rare lizards, and exotic birds to look at or buy. While some people fed the pygmy goats, miniature horses and skunks at petting zoos, others listened to educational seminars, watched raptor demonstrations, or posed with a large boa constrictor wrapped around their bodies.
November 25, 2003 |
For exotic animal breeder Sandra Reynolds, an acquittal on alleged violations of the state Wildlife Code should have been grounds for celebration. But what's a party without the guests of honor - in this case a wallaby, some lemurs, a kinkajou, and various other wild creatures? Reynolds, who received 33 citations from the Game Commission on Oct. 20, was found not guilty last week of illegally selling and possessing exotic animals, but her animals remain in state custody. "It's not right," she said.
January 16, 1995 |
They seem so cute when they're young, so friendly, even cuddly. But what does one do when that bundle of fur grows to 150 pounds of cougar able to kill livestock and human beings? Or when that wriggling finger of a snake winds up a seven-foot boa constrictor ready to put the wrap on the kid next door? The answer, animal experts say, is that all too often exotic pets wind up as public problems. Such, apparently, is the case with the cougar that has been spotted running loose in eastern Delaware County and along the western edge of Philadelphia.
August 15, 1993 |
Inside Leanne Donovan's office, Mork and Mindy, Peter Frampton and Jackson - not the gloved one - waited to be seen. Mork and Mindy began to move about restlessly, as Joanne Auty took copious notes. "What do they like to dine on?" Donovan asked. "Wingless fruit flies and crickets," Auty answered. Was this some new Orkan diet, or the inspiration for Peter Frampton's music? Not exactly. These stars have never actually performed on television or in concert - though they have a pretty good act changing colors.
February 22, 1995 |
The last few days, I've been considering issues arising from the ownership of exotic pets. Yes, I know that there are more important issues in the world. Contemplating those, I think, was what drove me to concern myself with the issues arising from the ownership of exotic pets. It all began when I read a newspaper article about ferret-lovers losing a case in federal district court. Judge Allen G. Schwartz upheld the constitutionality of New York City's rarely-enforced ban on ferrets, as well as the Health Department policy of destroying a ferret without a hearing if it bites someone.
November 29, 1993 |
Don't be surprised to see Porky on patrol. Julie Steigerwald, a Philadelphia police officer, is the owner of a pot- bellied pig, and believes the city's drug-enforcement officers would be smart to buy the swines for drug-sniffing. They're cheaper to keep and quicker to train than dogs, she said. "I'm going to try to introduce it," said Steigerwald, a K-9 officer who bought a training leash for her pig yesterday at the Exotic Pet Showcase at the Valley Forge Convention Center.