Help with POV

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Help with POV

Postby Will » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:16 am

I am struggling to understand what I would perceive as a high valu on NOT having tortoises as pets, native or exotic, yet so many of you folks in RSA have sakes from what is a global source.

Is it that snakes ought not be afforded the same 'respect' as tortoises, so lets have them as pets? Maybe torts are just more difficult?

I really don't get it. Aside from legal issues, I think I also see some value statement in all of this.

Anyone care to offer a POV?

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Re: Help with POV

Postby wadekilian » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:31 am

I think there's a lot more diversity in terms of snakes. You get hundreds of completely different species, within those species you get numerous different morphs, and they all have different attitudes, sizes etc.

While the selection of tortoise species seems limited in SA, I also think the demand for the different tortoise species are low IMO. From what I've seen, it seems most people just want "a tortoise" not really a specific species, so I doubt they'll wanna spend too much money on them. I don't know anyone who has a collection of different tortoise species other than some reptile parks, zoos etc. I've seen a few American breeders like Ron Tremper etc selling some cool Tortoises aswell as Terrapins, a lot of which I've never seen before.
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Re: Help with POV

Postby Will » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:43 am

Well yeah, that is true there are many more species of snakes than all chelonians by 10 fold, but SA has more tortoises than anywhere else by more than ten fold. I see some irony here when rosy boas are liked, and to great extent not so interesting as far as snakes go IMO (I've seen 'em in So Cal, and as pets etc.) but for me a leopard tortoise is spectacular. Then all the Homopus, tents, etc. I get the conservation imperative for geometrics, but say Kalahari tents have a huge range, are really attractive yet seem un -appreciated. Hingebacks are interesting, yet no one there breeds them. Here in the US, the native snakes are bred in the tens of thousands, but so are many chelonians.

No point, other than it just seems ironic and strange to me to live in the land of tortoises, and yet so few seem keen on them.

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Re: Help with POV

Postby Westley Price » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:16 am

Will, I can see where you are coming from with you statement above, but I think you are confusing lack of interest and the difficulty in legalities.

There are many guys here is RSA interested in tortoises, myself included, but we face a difficult situation; keep the torts illegally or don't keep them at all.

I've only seen Leopards and Angulates for sale legally, literally no other species. As mentioned, of course we can keep them illegally, but it's not worth the risk.

If there were some way we could keep our own indigenous species legally, there would be interest in them as well as more available which would jumpstart keeping of torts in RSA. That would likely even lead to imports of exotics in the future which would be great.

But I think unless we are able/allowed to keep our local tortoises without fear of legal action, the interest in tors will not go beyond field herping.
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Re: Help with POV

Postby Will » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:34 pm

I see, there are many restrictions on both native and exotic herps here too, but they are very much a state by state issue, unless they are part of the US Endangered Species act, and still then you can deal with them, it's just a more onerous task to be compliant with the laws.

Many laws are based on health/safety issues here, or large commerce issues. We have a 4 inch law, chelonians under four inches have restricted sales, based on salmonella disease transmission. Large snakes and monitors have been hit with regional laws restricting their sale, distribution, or for keeping. An actual few people have been killed by large constrictors here, not eaten, but killed. Venomous is not illegal in many places, are illegal in others, but if you get bit, your health insurance will probably not cover your required hospital visit. So many 'controlling' effect are achieved by more than pure legislation.

And field herping can be a great deal of good fun. So maybe that is enough. I have done some bit of field herping in the Western Cape. The topography is excellent, and I got to see many tortos, snakes, lizards etc. You'all got to learn which side of the road to drive on (ha ha hahahahahahahha), but otherwise it was a high point of my life to drive around and see so many tortoises in the Karoo, etc.

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Re: Help with POV

Postby lampie » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:00 pm

If the law allowed us to keep tortoises I would have had a tortoise or 2, maybe even more :)
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