2 for 2!!! PGH police make arrest in South Side bicyclist stabbing
No I get it pierce. I just don’t agree with you. I know it’s hard to grasp and all while you are so busy being self righteous.
I hope I wasn’t this annoying when I was a kid.
Well, keeping 12ft alligators in West Homestead does seem a bit peculiar…
Then again maybe they maintain a fully equipped terrarium (with pool?) in some former locomotive factory and are a part of an international registry for alligator genetic material, participating in cutting-edge zoological research. Maybe Tony should have finished high school (scholl?) and joined the family business instead of getting all paranoid and stuff.
We just don’t know.
But anyway, let me take this opportunity to relate an anecdote that, perhaps, @cburch and @pierce might reflect upon:
Back in grad school, a fellow student maintained an impressive collection of tropical fish. One day I asked him why he was so fascinated by fish. As pets, I remarked, they seemed pretty boring. His reply: “Well, you shouldn’t think of them as pets. Think of them as plants. In which case they’re really quite fascinating”.
OT, but who here has been to the Bayernhof museum across the river from the Zoo? (besides me?)
For the record, if someone released a large Burmese python in Frick, and I happened to encounter it, say, going down Iron Grate…that would really harsh my mellow.
@pseudacris My wife and I. I’d like to take my son when he’s a bit older. That’s a long tour.
I guess it came to mind as this thread turned to “offbeat people and their hobbies” + bodies of water indoors.
@jz, duuuuude, lolz!
“I think there’s something to be said of the mentality of people who keep wild animals confined”
These are not wild animals, they are pets. Born and raised in captivity, not trapped out in the woods. Little different from dogs and cats excepting that you have to care for them even more carefully than pet mammals because of dietary and climate concerns from their being cold blooded.
The difference is they’re not domesticated over thousands of years and not accustomed to being trapped in small spaces for extended periods of time. They also, theoretically, could have been able to care for themselves in the wild, unlike cats and dogs, where we bred out their ability to do so
It would be easier for me to agree with you not agreeing as opposed to not understanding if you ever said anything even remotely relevant to the points I’ve brought up over the years
@cburch Go pee in someone else’s Cheerios.
Wins the “advice-the-giver-could follow-himself” award, for sure!
I think my major exception is that “there is something to be said about the mentality” of people who keep these pets. What mentality would that be, exactly? Would it be the same mentality of the person I worked with who kept a 6 foot caiman in his bedroom, having built a platform over the tank for his own bed to allow the crocadillian more space, while also working at the Science Center taking care of their large snakes? Would it be the mentality of my daughter who, while working at several pet stores and at Pitt taking care of their animals , also keeps a sizable bearded dragon? Or maybe it’s the mentality of the former owners of the 9 million dogs and cats killed every year by shelters.
You are generalizing about the sorts of people who keep “exotic” pets and then projecting that generalization onto the father of a person who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, as if that actually means anything about any of the people actually involved.
there are those kinds of people, and there are the kinds of people who were arrested in a drug bust behind my grandmother’s old house, during which the police found a large alligator in the house. they were presumably guided by some strange notion of “cool”, and were not doing a damned good job keeping it happy.
it may turn out to be mistaken, but i don’t think it’s at all preposterous to presume the step-father of a person we generally agreed to be a psychopath is of the latter variety. as a general rule, for most residents of the metropolis, it is a Bad Idea™ to keep a 10 foot alligator in one’s residence.
@Kordtie You are generalizing about the sorts of people who keep “exotic” pets and then projecting that generalization onto the father of a person who has been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, as if that actually means anything about any of the people actually involved.
You are right. I went well beyond what I should have, which would be limited to “I’m curious about the alligator and the level of care that animal might be receiving…”
The fact that it frightened Scholl is pretty meaningless either way. His assessment of any situation is probably a bit off.
I don’t have any information about whether the environment was appropriate for an alligator. I do not know if the environment contributed at all to Scholl’s actions.
I also don’t know about “responsible alligator ownership.” Most important knowledge whether or not it is a possibility, I don’t know.
Anyhow, Scholl’s stepdad is a real person. He lives in our community. Scholl’s family is not responsible for what Scholl did. I need to be aware posting here, that some of the people reading this know people that know him and I don’t know him.
@ kordite These are not wild animals, they are pets
Is a 10 foot alligator not a wild animal?
A wolf-dog, the only exotic about which I can speak with any authority, is a wild animal. Doesn’t matter how well-behaved or where it was born. Doesn’t matter if it is “only” 1/4 wolf.
Wolf-dog = wild animal.
I’m not sure if a similar statement holds for an alligator or not.
The “pet” chimpazee that ripped the woman’s hands and face off was not viewed as wild animal until the tragedy. Had that incident not occurred, and the chimp behaved itself until it died, it still would have been a wild animal, just one that wasn’t recognized.
There are responsible ways to keep some wild animals. Claiming they are somehow not wild typically precludes responsible ownership.
There are lots of cute domesticated pets that violently attack people, too.
I also believe that my cats and dogs could survive on their own. My cat is quite the hunter.
Anonymous 10/30/2012 at 1:31am #
Sorry guys but most cats and dogs would fine in the wild if they grown in the wild. Google for “working cats”. My cats are outside ones an can catch anything from mice to birds. So what is “domesticated” animal? If you remember 300 years ago there were a lot of wild horses. And horse domestication was “just catch and show who is in charge”.
And my father in law had a half wolf-dog (german shepherd and wolf) — real nice dog I played a lot with.
i think we can all agree with the fact that he feeds his pet alligator cheetos (at the end of the video) is probably a bad idea.
now a pet cheetah, that’s probably ok
So what is “domesticated” animal? If you remember 300 years ago there were a lot of wild horses. And horse domestication was “just catch and show who is in charge”.
domestication is different from taming. the horses you mention weren’t wild, but feral. they had been bred to be domesticated, but either escaped or were released, and then lived in the “wild”. but they were still the product of probably millennia-long human-driven breeding processes.
It’s interesting to note that all large (say, larger than a rat) animals that have been domesticated (with the sole exception of the water buffalo) were domesticated thousands of years ago, by our distant ancestors. And this is not for want of trying. People have seriously tried to domesticate animals like zebras and gazelles, for example, without success. There was something about the dozen or so large animals that made them fit us, long before we started breeding them.
@mikhail And horse domestication was “just catch and show who is in charge”.
Wild horses in the US were all feral domesticated horses. I suspect real wild horse would be different.
Most of the time with a wolf-dog, you won’t have any trouble. Doesn’t mean they are OK.
“There are lots of cute domesticated pets that violently attack people, too.”
Are we (H. sapiens) wild, feral, or domesticated? Can we make a blanket statement about a species?
@erok, there’s an argument for that, actually. Cats carry toxoplasmosis, a single-cell parasite which also infects rats and causes changes in rat behavior (making them not fear cats, which gets them eaten by cats, and completes the parasite’s lifecycle.) There’s speculation that when the parasite infects humans it results in changes in human behavior, too. I think it’s probably the cause of cat-keeping, which is otherwise inexplicable (BTW, I’m infected, too.)
it apparently also makes you more likely to do dangerous things…like maybe ride a bicycle in traffic perchance?
however, i don’t know how you can say that the cause of cat-keeping is inexplicable. they’re so darn cute and cuddly. maybe that’s the toxo speaking.
i’m just glad that alligators don’t carry toxo (trying to bring this thread full circle)
Anonymous 10/30/2012 at 9:24pm #
Wow – did this thread get off topic or what? I don’t know how to respond to all of this.
I believe that a lot of people bite off more than they can chew (so to speak) when attempting to make a pet out of an inappropriate critter. Like the people that anonymously dropped off a leopard in a gold plated cage with half a chicken at a place I used to volunteer at in CA. They suddenly realized they couldn’t control him and he was tearing up their apartment! Duh!! Ever see the Geico commercial with the “Watch Leopard”? Some animals are just not safe to have in population centers when the so-called owners are unable or unequipped to completely control them.
If this alligator makes it out of that home, do you really want your kid encountering it on the street? There’s a reason for the laws that restrict ownership of exotic pets.
That said, I doubt this group will be able to reach agreement on the idea. Maybe we can just all agree that we’re happy this guy is off the streets; hope he gets some help for his problems; hope he’s not let loose on the public again until or unless his mental health issues are resolved; and hope that his step-father’s pet is never let loose on the public at all.
and hope that his step-father’s pet is never let loose on the public at all.
too late. according to that video i posted a few back, ths already happened
Wow, I hadn’t watched the video before.
I would be terrified to share a house with a free roaming alligator.
 according to neighbors, the alligator was allowed to move about the house
you know, it fetches your sandals, keeps your feet warm, and eats the cheetos that you dropped on the floor. what can go wrong?
OooooKAYthen. Maybe I will just go ahead and get that skunk, like I’d been planning on.
I have to say Scholl’s claims about his stepfather and the alligator are making more and more sense.
Anonymous 10/31/2012 at 9:32pm #
@HV domestication is a process. The one that controlled by human beings. Natural selection does the same. And it’s possible to get genetic changes that benefit human being without human intervention. As soon as animal is separated from human selection pressure the process of genetic changes goes a different way. As any process it depends on time. So at some point animals could be domesticated but as soon as they get feral and start to live many generations outside of human controlled selection process it becomes wild again. Just an example — cats live span in a wild is about 5-7 years. During 75-80 years (lifespan for human being in the US) it would be from 11 to 18 generations of cats. And they would lose almost everything whatever was selected under human pressure.
And how fast those changes could happen?
@mikhail: 11 to 18 generations would be enough if there was serious cross-breeding with other species (edited to add: or if there were seriously acute selection pressures), but almost all the characteristics would still be there if left to basic selection pressures. mutations just don’t happen that often.
feral pigeons are a good demonstration of this. the “wild” pigeons of american cities have surely been feral for dozens, if not hundreds, of generations, and they still very closely resemble the animals that were once domesticated.
the feral mustangs that are iconic of the american west would have had no actual wild horses with which to interbreed, and thus would be essentially genetically the same as the previous tame horses that escaped or were released.
@mikhail And they would lose almost everything whatever was selected under human pressure.
My sense is that 3eveolution tends to be a bit slower than that. I was taught in school that 100 generations is considered 1 step in evolution.
Anonymous 10/31/2012 at 10:14pm #
http://www.amazon.com/Beak-Finch-Story-Evolution-Time/dp/067973337X — about speed of evolution — now people talking about micro evoluition and just hundreds of years (not thousands). Again when you bread animal you try to select a particular feature and stick to it. A lot of new cats and dogs have been selected in a matter of a few generations.
And about of mutation — by breading animals got (usually) two different sets of chromosomes. So genetic changes is not always from just mutation that a particular animal has. It could be brought from a side breader.
Anonymous 11/01/2012 at 11:02am #
@Ahril Well, Lysenko is a dark page in USSR history. Belyaev is a good acquaintance of friend of mine in Novosibirsk. And dog like behavior and curly tail was a part of discussion on another board as well as finches in Galapagos (there is man watching finches on a separate isolated island with total population of finches around 200) and changes in beacons of finches.
Anonymous 11/01/2012 at 1:56pm #
@HV “feral pigeons are a good demonstration of this”
Do we know how far they changed? From what I know breeding between wild and current feral pigeons is possible. I think wolf-dog would be better example. But Dingo (wild dog) could interbreed with domesticated dogs easily — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interbreeding_of_dingoes_with_other_domestic_dogs so genetic difference is not that big to disable interbreeding.
Cats are also very interesting case. Felis silvestris — European wildcat.
— Felis Silvestris Caucasica — on of subspecies of Felis Silvestris.
Felis Silvestris are endangered and placed into Red Book of Russian Federation.
There are forest wildcats in Siberia and Eastern part of Russia. Very similar to famous Siberian Cat breed. Easily breeds with domesticated cats. My mom was born in a tiny small village. They had wildcat coming for winter during real cold weather and lived in their barn with other animals. Never touched their domestic animals (chickens, ducks, gooses).
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