- Aug 4, 2015
- Reaction score
- United States
I totally agree with the way you feel but my concern is that good quality hobbyist may be the only "ark" for many species that most likely will face extinction in the wild within our lifetime. We as a species tend to not address problems until they are far too gone to have anything done to halt the issue. In some cases there are more of an abundance of species individuals in captivity than wild populations. Even tigers for petes sake have higher numbers in zoos and private collections than in the wild, and thats a beloved iconic fuzzy creature. I sincerely hope I'm wrong but we may wipe the majority of the "lesser" creatures out before we figure out as a species how to coexist with the world in which we live. At that point, captive breeding and re-release may be our only option of species survival in wild populations. Sorry so grim, just something to think about.It certainly wouldn't do them any harm at this point, would it.
Don't get me wrong, I love my hobby, but on the rare occasions I go to reptile/herp shops for supplies I leave feeling almost guilty by association. Its normally possible to find amphibians kept at the wrong temperature, or wrong set up completely, Mixed species of stressed tortoises/turtles cooped up in tiny vivarium type enclosures with bubbling noses, closed eyes or even shell injuries from being dug out the ground for export while hibernating in their homelands. I don't know anything about snakes or lizards, but seeing how they perform with other species its probably a similar story with those as well.
As the years roll on, we're increasingly distanced from the wildlife around us and herps are a good way to teach kids respect and curiosity for the natural world, but not when the animals involved are sick/dying when bought.
I would hate to see herp keeping banned, I really would, but we do ourselves no favours, sometimes.