Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kangaroos, Wallaroos, Wallabies and Llamas

 Over the weekend we took a trip out to the Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, WA. I didn't know it before we went, but while they give tours of the facility where they allow people to feed and pet these creatures, that's really the secondary reason for it's existence. First and foremost, their business is the breeding and selling of these exotic animals as pets. I'm really unsure how I feel about that in general, or why I would feel differently about them being kept as pets than I would about dogs.

I guess it boils down to the fact that they're a hell of a commitment (life spans ranging from 12-20 years depending on species) with much of a novelty aspect to it, locational restrictions because of laws, general under education, lack of available vet care to the general population, and limited/no availability of any sort of rescue facilities should the novelty factor fade off and people find themselves no longer desiring having one as a pet (which we see often enough with other domestic animals).


The Kangaroos were ultra soft, and so were the Wallaroos - almost mink like in feeling. The Wallabies coat was much coarser, much like goat hair. 

I don't know much about any of these animals, so I can't really tell you what their 'normal' disposition would be. I can tell you that the kangaroos seemed either really really lazy or lethargic. I can also tell you that I don't agree with encouraging people to poke, prod, and harass an animal in order to get it up so it will 'perform' for you (No, I've never been to a circus).

They also had some other animals, including a donkey that had just given birth to a foal the night before. This didn't stop the owners from allowing hoards of people into this area, separating mother from baby, children overcrowding the new foal and attempting to feed the less-than-day-old baby food.

All in all it was an underwhelming experience. While I enjoyed the experience of being able to interact with creatures that I may never have gotten to otherwise, I didn't leave with any warm fuzzy feelings. I also can't say that I object to them being kept as pets in general - but when it comes to animal breeding and sales I much prefer the pets first with some regard to the animals future and income second approach rather than strictly business.


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