23 June 2015

Exotic animal auctions

As reported in the Texas Observer:
The crowd, a couple hundred strong, oohs and ahhs as the wallaby hops from one side of the enclosure to the other. A woman asks her family, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of those?”...

Kifaru is one of a handful of exotic animal auction houses in Texas, part of a robust billion-dollar U.S. trade in exotic animals... Saturdays are reserved for exotic hoofstock (blackbucks, fallow deer, zebras, giraffes, oryx, gazelles), domestic farm animals such as goats and alpacas, and primates and other unorthodox pets. Sundays are for birds—some exotic, some less so—and small animals including reptiles and rodents...

Exotic animals in Texas—including but not limited to monkeys and primates that don’t fall under the state’s dangerous wild animal laws—are in a sort of legal blind spot. Pet capuchin and macaque monkeys are often purchased as infants, but when the males reach sexual maturity and become aggressive, many are either handicapped (by removing their teeth and nails), chained or discarded. The lucky ones end up in animal sanctuaries. The Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary alone houses nearly 20 big cats, almost all of which came from private owners or facilities condemned by the USDA. According to Executive Director Patti Clark, the Austin Zoo receives lots of calls about exotic birds; she said buyers often don’t understand how long the birds live, how loud they can be and how messy they are...

Provost said that though he tries to weed out inexperienced or unqualified bidders, he can’t stop people from doing what they want with their money. “I would say there are probably some irresponsible purchases, but you can do that at Walmart. You can do that anywhere else, and I don’t know how to control or stop that other than what I do, which is to [warn people about special requirements]. However I can help the situation, I certainly do that verbally,” he said. “But if a 90-year-old grandma wants to come in and buy that big, bad water buffalo bull, it’s her money and this is America and she’s free to do that.”
More at the link.


  1. "ALL SALES PER HEAD." So two-headed snakes and turtles are double, then?


  2. this place sounds like it should be in 'the freshman' film. :-)


  3. I imagine a great many of them go to exotic hunting places. It bothers me terribly to know that so many animals are killed just to make a few people feel manly.

    1. "My 10 gauge barely brought down that chinchilla..."


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