Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tale of Two Fawns

While dog sitting this past weekend, in Liberty Township, I spotted two fawns a few yards over from the deck.  So I got out my camera and put on my 55-200 m zoom lens, and commenced to shooting. First from too far away, then I walked next door and just went crazy snapping photos.  It was at times overcast and then sunny, which drove my zoom lens shutter crazy as it's sensitive.  Even with the AV (Antivibration) deal, some turned out a bit fuzzy as the autofocus got confused.

Never the less, I enjoyed the outing though was sad after 2 hours, no mom deer came around, so these orphaned girls are on their own.  Deer usually stay with their mom's for the first year and lose their spots around 6 months of age.  The male deer usually never see their mother's again, but the daughter's will often come back after they have babies of their own and hang out in herds with the mother.

They sure are cute up close and just observing them was fun on this cool morning.

The siblings discover me and my camera

Gingerly stepping closer while looking for some good grass to eat.
I had camera around my neck and hands out to my sides, palms up to prove I was safe and spoke to her.
But she started to run off and I caught this but missed the next two strides as she went into the next yard.
I did catch this though, in which she appears to prefer cable over dish judging by her posture !
The one sibling kept resting a lot, even as they moved a bit closer.  It was about 10 am now.
Still wondering if I am a good witch or a bad witch, and she was starting to sniff loudly at me.
Just when I thought she was coming closer, I crouched down for a photo and she spun around and took off!

Other fawn getting ready to lie down a bit before getting up to run again later.
Other deer full of fear and curiosity as this crazy woman with the black camera kept snapping away.
Missed the mid air leap, darn it but this was the push off.
Running so fast could hardly keep her in the view finder as sun went in and out and shutter lag in low light.
This was a great photo showing huge strides.
They kept looking off to the small woods as if wondering if mom was there or somebody else lurking.

I went out about 45 minutes later, and as the guy next door cut his grass with a push mower, they went in the woods much closer to where I was staying.  I went out there trying to coax her closer but the dense jungle was too overgrown to get closer.  They patiently waited as the man cut his grass.  But,when the jug head   neighbor  fired up the WAY TOO LOUD WEED TRIMMER, they bolted into the woods, and I never saw them again.  Not even in the next two mornings.  Good luck, kids! Thanks for the photographs.

By the way, I think weed trimmers should be made illegal or quieter.  If they are louder than the average push mower, that's totally insane but I digress off the nature topic!

Until next time! ~~Sophia *waves*

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Exotic Animals Atrocity: Traveling Petting 'Jungle Safari' in Hamilton, Ohio

Baby  looks  upset to me. I didn't take this photo. It's from the Herald Tribune online article. Cub is so tired, it is resting it's head on some kid when it needed to be with it's mother, who it never sees again. Note paw being raised with a prop!
***Click on photos to enlarge them***

EDITED: I've read up and heard via video, Robert Engesser, keeps  wild cats/other animals in cages their ENTIRE lives.   Often can't lift their heads or turn around, or even stand up!  He has been cited numerous times over many years for this...Yet  " has legal permits" and has done this traveling zoo for 13 years (correction from earlier, has worked with animals 29 years). Million dollar subculture.

On his farms in Chiefland and Trenton, Florida. He steals  newborn cubs  from their  mothers, while eyes are still closed. They do this so they can hand feed the babies and they can be held for picture taking. Usually crying their hearts out in anguish for their mothers.

But the government run USDA says this is acceptable and any body can own exotic animals. They've low standards, as does the Humane Association.
Do a search on  " petting baby tiger/lion cubs at malls."  I understand the mega farm industry gets by with this and that must change, but individuals?

Here's theTiger I checked on a second time, July 4th at 5pm, was panting, no water or food. 95 degrees and humid. Called police but nothing they could do. Shade, (given) water, fed daily.  If you are watching on a smart phone, you can't appreciate the shaking and the heaving of the belly. It's gotten 10 degrees hotter and more humid since this video.


How it began. Imagine my surprise, Tuesday, July 3rd,   I thought I'd run brief errands before the heat worsened.   I pulled in to  Hamilton's  Big Lots parking lot-- on Route 4.  Saw a giant, white tent. Thinking it was somebody selling cheap furniture, imagine my shock, which turned  to horror, when I saw a camel pacing in a cage, then a tiger lying in one, looking depressed. This tent was full of crates with exotic animals and  farm animals.

I grabbed my Point and Shoot camera/video recorder, in my purse, but it did not work!    Called the Hamilton Police. They didn't have a clue. "Are you sure it's a Camel that you see?"  "Yes, I know what a camel looks like, and there are other exotic animals in small cages, too."  The clueless dispatcher  said she would alert the Animal Control officer for Butler County.

I was at another side of the parking lot leaving a  message on a voice mail, to a Mercy For Animals friend.  Maybe five minutes had gone by total?
Drove back to the tent and a lady in a van, is smiling and laughing with some  tall, obese white man.  (I mention weight because none of his animals were overweight.) I instantly got bad vibes from him, and her. She, a member of the Butler County "Humane" society.

I asked about the animals.  "Well, it's a petting zoo. We've had some complaints and I just checked all the animals feet and they are fine, and he's got all the permits." (I later found out when I called the police again,  that I was the only one who had called, as I was the only person on record. This "Humane Person" had lied about checking the feet of all the animals in 5 minutes! What about the monkeys, the baby lions? I did not know about them until later)

 I voiced concern  ". . it's so very hot."  This fine animal control person (insert sarcasm) replied,  "My barn animals at home are hot. It's hot!"  I looked at the man and asked about the pacing camel.  He assured me he would have a bigger circle --on the black top-- for him to move around in.  I asked where these animals lived when not in cages? "On my farm, in Florida."  Had I known his name then, I would've started quizzing him. Instead, I murmured some words . . . can't remember what, as I was close to tears and fled home.

I started doing  online searches and ran into dead ends.  Then  put in 'camel, tiger, traveling exotic animal petting zoo' and bingo.  Up came a link from a parking lot petting zoo in Troy, Ohio.  Then a mall on the east coast and many more.  A 911 animal site  included Robert Engesser's name. Even without a photo, my gut told me, this is who I saw.  These types are always on the run before the abuse stories catch up.  This guy's "Jungle Safari" has records  for all sorts of cruelty.  The (corrupt) USDA slaps him on the wrist, and he's right back at it.  Lives in Florida but shares this abuse with many states who think it's "educational." I can find no photos of his 'zoo' in Florida. 

A legal 'but not ethical' permit)  allows animals to sleep on blacktop with only straw under them.  The Humane Society is not very humane, either, but some of us already knew this.

I'm trying my best, with this little blog to be one little voice for  traveling petting zoo animals. If you'd like to be a voice, please share this site or send to somebody you know in an email that wants to see this stopped.   Call Big Lots to complain.  Ask for the manager! (I did with little info except to say Engesser buys his animal's water from them on a 400 foot long hose across a broiling parking lot!) A friend of mine in local news media got no takers where he worked.  A local tv station did an I-Team report on Joe Exotic last year (see end of this post for that name) at Northgate Mall.

The lobbyist  who really run this country, may support the filthy, cruel meat industry (that's another tragic tale ) but no way one human should have 'license to do this to animals.” Why can't we make this kind of thing a felony?

The owner of this exotic animal show is allowed to breed all these animals, repeatedly, and travel with this horror under the guise of 'Education.' Are you kidding me?  Just like the Cincinnati Zoo, this guy can play  animal expert? 

Remember, when that guy in Zanesville set his animals loose and  killed himself and  Ohio folks said, something must be done. We'll change the rules.  The new rules are a joke with 'existing exotic owners grandfathered in! '

How about we educate ourselves better at what we are doing to this world.  Is this a display we want "the children to see and be happy about?"
Hey, Gov. John Kasich! How about you spend the night here and re-think those laws you wrote for your animal buddies? How comfortable is this tent? I noticed the  owner has an RV with air conditioning next to the broiling tent.

I would be horrified for my children/family to see this "educational facility."

**Click on any photo to see them enlarged. I upload them smaller so the pages load quicker on your computers!**

 This is the 'bigger outdoor corral' Engesser told me his camel would have access too? Liar. Depressed camel.

 Various animals close together, taken from zoom lens day before opening. Note tent down to help weaken the animals to the verge of death.  Then feed and water. Lather, rinse, repeat.

PROOF this is Engesser as  he's in this video link,
 the big  guy leading the camel around.  He allegedly hits animals in face with fists, with held food and water, but an ex-employee didn't get it on video.  He gives the newborn cubs dysentery to weaken them for picture taking (A common practice with ALL Petting zoo's that have wild animals for picture taking!) but many folks later realize "that kitten didn't seem too happy and cried pitifully the entire time we were there."  They're taken from mothers after birth, with their eyes still closed.  This same thing happens in the farming industry with baby animals.

It's how we get our milk, stealing baby calves from their moms.


NOTE:  I studied up and USDA rarely inspects these nightmarish conditions unless enough complain,  and when they do, they find filthy water buckets full of algae, silt or feces and give small fines.  Sick weakened animals, without enough water or ventilation, or cage too small to stand up or turn around in, is no big deal.  Then these  guys re-breed the Tigers/Lions, who's babies they steal, and that's how they keep these sick shows going. Selling cubs to any creep via the internet  and networking about the country. When cubs grow  too big for pictures? SOLD to another guy who starts the whole pattern again.

I had a couple phone calls with the Outreach person from Mercy For Animals,  Kevin O'Connor.  They strictly lobby and demonstrate against the farming industry because that's where 95% of the cruelty in this country comes from. Cows, pigs, chickens , etc.  Dairy barns are horrible, too.  There are not enough people to volunteer their time to protest every animal show like this because, as it is so rampant. PETA protests circuses, and animal testing and such. But I was disappointed they (PETA)  had no local people interested in this 5 day show. Kevin suggested a letter to the editor. I am working on that now.

I've started calling these exotic petting zoo's the "toss away animals."  Nobody has time to protest for them to raise awareness.  Search the internet on how easy it is to buy an exotic pet. 1000's of hits come up instantly.  Humanity can be a disgrace at times.

I am still bothered by the tiger's panting and the camel pacing.  Kevin did make the drive up to check the facility and said "Legally, nothing could be done." When I went back, I saw the camel lying on blacktop, under a  tent, blinking at me with his big eyes and turning his head away as I spoke with him. . . spirit broken knowing his miserable -forever- fate. I found Engesser's truck license for his haulers in Florida. Travels over 120,000 miles annually. That's a lot of stressful travel for these critters.

As  Kevin O'Connor put on his Facebook page: 'A Tiger's territory usually encompasses 600 square miles or more. . . This Tiger spends his entire life within 150 feet in this cage'.  Kevin has a short video of the above panting tiger, pacing later neurotically, the same day. 

On another site about petting zoos, I saw a monkey spinning in circles   going insane, because there is nothing for him to climb on in his cage. Meanwhile parents and kids take pictures thinking "Isn't that funny?!"

I've read  wild cats need ponds to swim in to keep cool in extremely hot weather. The big animals in these shows have limited hot, stale water.

Please, never take your children,  grandchildren or your friend's kids to these shows. You are supporting these “self-proclaimed Zoo animal experts.” They are frauds. Petting Zoo' titles are red flags.

Educate yourself and by the way, a real sanctuary never BREEDS animals, never sells them, is kind to them, and never steals the babies from the mother, for human's to bottle feed. Not ever.

Final Note:  Joe 'Exotic' SCHREIBVOGEL likes to put out his 'own spin' on vimeo and youtube, but the fact is he also ADMITS to taking baby cubs away from their mothers while their eyes are still shut. His claim? "It makes the public care more (??) to hold these babies, touch them and have a once in a lifetime photograph with them." He doesn't mention the history of heartache, trauma and suffering that is the truth about that cub's life. And the other animals.

 Engesser and "Joe Exotic" (Joe uses dozens of aliases) get by with abuse in the name of a fraudulent "sanctuary and rescue home."


All of God's creatures, great and small, deserve a better life than what these types force on them.

I am going to write a letter for these countless animals across the country. But will anybody else? In this day of hit and run comments on Facebook and Twitter, nothing beats old fashioned snail mail and a phone call to complain. Or a well written email. Those sometimes work, but too often, get caught in a spam box. Same with online petitions.

Big Lots and Hamilton should be ashamed, as should be other cities that allow these petting zoos.  They are a disgrace.