Oct 142011
 
Pet oddities

Last week, an article in the local paper caught my eye: 143 Mexican redknees looking for good homes. Whoa. That’s a lot of tarantulas. But believe it or not, that was only the tip of the iceberg. In late August, someone tried to enter Switzerland with a suitcase containing 260 live Mexican redknee tarantulas loosely packed in plastic bags. Authorities confiscated the tarantulas and split them up between three zoos in Switzerland, one of which was the Vivarium in Lausanne. The picture accompanying the article showed a pile of McDonald’s salad containers, each of which presumably contained a tarantula. Whoops, that’s not my salad! The Vivarium’s director “fulminated” about the ridiculousness of the whole thing. The Mexican redknee is not an exotic creature. You can buy a baby one at a Swiss pet store for five francs. So the whole affair only stood to net the illicit importer about 1300 click here to read the whole dang post […]

Jun 242011
 
Snap!

When the first snapping turtle surfaced, village authorities were surprised. It got its picture in the paper, and an expert from the Lausanne Vivarium came and hauled it off, saying the turtle had probably been living there for ages, unnoticed. Great trepidation in Renens. These things can bite off your arm! Then a second, younger, turtle was found. Judging from its shell, the expert said it had probably been released quite recently into the pond. In a sidebar entitled “l’Italie colonisée”, we learn that snapping turtles are endemic to the Everglades, and that large established populations have been found in Alaska and in Italy. They can walk up to 40 km looking for food, weigh up to 40 kilos, and will eat anything that they come across. Birds, fish, rats, children… Thursday, a third turtle, the same size as number two, was fished from the pond. They could be sisters, said click here to read the whole dang post […]