Saturday, June 20, 2009
Where the Wild Things Roam on Craigslist
This mind-boggling ad showed up on the Houston, TX, Area Craigslist Pets section this evening. I copied it into a Word file. When I went back to Craigslist later, the ad was gone. The text is as follows, below. I removed the poster's email.
Hyena Pups for adoption
Date: 2009-06-20, 7:34PM CDT
Two Hyena pups, one boy one girl. The mother and father are also pictured below. Very well mannered & well socialized. Enjoys trips to the dog park. Current on all puppy shots. Not asking an adoption fee, just asking that they receive lots of TLC. You would take care of Hyenas as you would on any other dog but please read up on these animals before you inquire.
I’ve learned not to be surprised by what I see on Craigslist, but this is disturbing, to say the least.
Hyenas, according to a 2001 Texas law, are among 16 “dangerous wild animals” prohibited from being privately owned without proper permits. Individual Texas jurisdictions can set up their own guidelines for the permitting process. At least that’s how I understand the law, based on the scant Internet information about Texas exotic animal laws. Texas is a large state with very little federally managed land, and the attitude here is that the private land owner is king of her/her ranch.
Private owners operate game ranches full of exotic hoofed animals, including zebras, blackbucks, water buffalo, gazelles, and wildebeest. People pay fees to hunt the animals for trophy mounts. Even native animals, such as mule or white-tailed deer, are managed on vast private deer leases and game ranches. There’s a booming business in automatic feeders and deer corn in many rural counties.
Apparently, this easy-going attitude toward exotic hoofed animals spills over into a gray area. I can't imagine wanting to keep an African hyena as a pet.
Are animals such as hyenas legal to own as pets in your neighborhood? Let me know.
Both photos are from the ad. I covered the woman's face to protect her privacy on my blog.