Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Why Don't We Breed Exotic Pets for Temperament?

One of the most aggravating comments I’m getting increasingly tired of hearing from people who are anti-exotic pet is the argument that “dogs have been bred for thousands of years.”

This is, of course, completely untrue. Yes, dogs have been “domesticated” (I can actually argue that dogs aren’t domesticated, which will blow your mind) for some number of years in the thousands range (the exact amount is heavily disputed in the scientific community). However, it certainly didn’t take thousands of years for dogs to become “domesticated.” 

Furthermore, people who make this argument really need to take note of the fact that despite such “thousands of years”, plenty of dogs have behavioral problems, and some are severe enough to warrant euthanasia. It might be a controversial practice, but it really shouldn’t be. 

Anyone who truly reads the stories of those who’ve gone through the emotionally draining challenge of living with and trying to cure a dangerous dog will understand that some dogs cannot be “cured.” Sometimes, these issues are due to trauma or poor treatment, however, this doesn’t happen to every dog. Plenty of dogs come from terrible backgrounds but still have excellent temperaments. 

Instead, it seems as though only certain dogs, likely due to genetics, are prone to severe anxiety and aggression. In many cases, this can happen to dogs that aren’t mistreated and were raised since puppy-hood by their loving owners. The sad fact is that genetics rule the roost. While some owners can manage their dog’s issues, others aren’t so lucky and it is in no way their fault. 

This leads me to the subject of exotic animals and the claim that they shouldn’t be pets because they aren’t “domesticated.” There is a constant push from dog fanciers to buy dogs from “responsible” breeders who are very strict about which animals enter their breeding program. A big part of this involves choosing the correct temperament.

 So far, I have yet to hear of a dog with problematic behavior originating from a stringent breeding program from a “reputable” breeder, and this is why animal professionals loathe “backyard breeders” who do not do expensive health testing and make other informed assessments. Therefore, it seems that even “domesticated” animals require specialized techniques to ensure that their behavior is consistently docile and non-problematic.

So I got to thinking, this isn’t really a thing with exotic pets.

In most cases, exotic animals are not selectively bred for temperament — rather — the objective is just to produce as many of the species as possible. In some of the few cases where an exotic pet species is part of a breeding program, it is for coloration, such as what is occurring with ball pythons, sugar gliders, and hedgehogs, or “breed” creation, such as is the case with Savannah cats. 

In many cases, breeders don’t really have a choice, as some species are difficult to breed or they exist in low numbers within the pet trade. There may not be sufficient demand for “well-bred” exotic pets such as fennec foxes and kinkajous. 

My point is this; if even dogs, which are the quintessential “domesticated” animal, require extensive research, testing, and education on the part of the breeder to produce even-tempered animals that are excellent pets, not to mention that most pet dogs are spayed or neutered, why do we assume that exotic animals — where these efforts are not really carried out — make such terrible pets in comparison? 

Maybe if the culture that surrounds dogs existed in other species, we’d be looking at animals that can adapt to captivity more readily, and have traits such as increased docility, calmer behavior, and better “bathroom habits.” 

We can deduce from the famous Russian Farm Fox Experiment, where foxes were selectively bred for tameness (and aggressiveness) to test the hypothesis of domestication syndrome (traits such as floppy ears, curly tails, etc. being associated with increased docility) that behavior can be selected for in species not normally considered to be “domesticated” (although the foxes in the experiment were actually “domesticated” initially, depending on which version of the word one uses). 

Therefore, there’s no reason this cannot be accomplished in servals, wallabies, and even primates, although none of these species will become dogs (dogs are always the standard people think is being aspired to when “domesticating” an animal) because they are their own separate species with their own specific traits. This was the case with the Russian foxes. 

I think breeders ought to try their hand at “domesticating” exotic pets when possible, attempting to only breed animals that have an exemplary temperament. This would only serve to improve the exotic pet trade, just as dog people demand that their species must always be “improved.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Real Rescue


 It's been a while since my last post on this blog, and this is partially due to lack of motivation but as of recent, I've been going through unexpected and devastating loss regarding my animals that has only served to further impede any progress in breaking this cycle.

 In recent news I've been following the harrowing stories of Nowzad Animal Rescue and the miraculous escape of 150+ dogs and cats from the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and the sad and unfortunate failure of Kabul Small Animal Rescue to do the same. 

Both Nowzad and KSAR faced down tear gas, chaos, sleepless nights and Taliban soldiers sticking guns in their faces. Sadly the staff of both rescues who are Afghans were not permitted to leave by the Taliban. Only KSAR's founder, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, was allowed to leave being from the U.S., but despite ongoing donations including my own, KSAR's chartered plane(s) did not arrive on time and the cats were not allowed to enter the airport by the Taliban for some reason. 

The dogs actually managed to get into the airport, but thanks to the wonderful rules of the CDC barring dogs from Afghanistan from entering the United States, they could not be placed within the cargo (where humans are not allowed) of departing military planes headed for the U.S. 

The remaining U.S. soldiers "assisted" Charlotte by releasing those dogs in a section of the airport, and they prompted her to get on a flight and leave a disabled puppy she had in her arms behind. She refused, and she is now stranded in Afghanistan, still rescuing pets that have been abandoned by their fleeing owners, dogs that are roaming the streets, and contracted working dogs (not the military dogs belonging to the U.S military) and headed into an uncertain future. 

I just thought I'd show people who I consider a "hero", and someone who deserves piles of donations. Charlotte and her staff, I'm sure, would love it if another animal did not need their services. They do not rescue animals they "want" or those that are worth thousands. They do not rescue "as needed" to further their business or for any other self-serving purpose other than the pursuit of happiness by helping animals who desperately need it. Apparently in Afghanistan, dogs are considered "dirty" and some have their noses chopped off.

Recently I've been made aware of more "Youtubers" who have begged for donations so they can buy animals or have the ones they've chosen to buy financially accommodated, and I really want to document it, despite my small readership here.

I began to wonder at some point, if those who literally sent Brock Afentful of 2canTV thousands of dollars to upgrade his house or the single individual who bought him a hand-raised, perfect, baby channel-billed toucan have donated to Nowzad, Kabul Small Animal Rescue, or any other causes where hundreds of animals or humans are in peril. I of course, have no evidence they have not, but forgive me for being very doubtful that they have.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Brock Afentful's (2can.TV) Proposed Luxury Fake "Rescue"

I think I ought to emphasize that the things Mr. Afentul is posting are actually intended to make him look good. Each upload that he creates is carefully designed to lure the viewer into feeling like they are contributing to a greater good by helping to pay for his bills, a house upgrade, and very expensive pets.

In my last post regarding the creator of 2can.TV, I was completely and utterly aghast that he chose to flagrantly defy his past claims that toucans shouldn't be pets and go ahead and purchase yet another toucan chick with someone else's money to further complete his "rainbow" collection of different species, akin to the picture on his Youtube banner and the artwork he uses at the end of his videos.

He presented this decision to his fans in such a way that presented such bratty behavior as quirky and innocent. 

His reasoning? He needs to buy toucans to teach people not to buy toucans. He certainly needed another rarer toucan species to accomplish this, despite the fact that he already had a tame, hand-raised, and well-behaved baby to be an "ambassador" (Rhiannon). And after receiving essentially a $5000+ donation to buy the new, non-rescued bird, he continued to solicit donations for a new house (!!!).

The brazen lack of understanding of what he's asking for and the audacity he would need to consider a new house to be a "donation" is further displayed in another video, called "Designing a Toucan Sanctuary (For Real)".

In the video, Brock is using a computer game to give his fans a realistic idea of some ideas for his new house, which he calls a "toucan sanctuary".

Outside of Brock's fantastical imagination, his conceptional designs are not a sanctuary for birds but a human bird lover's paradise. Aside from several rooms for the humans, one plan includes 3 large indoor walk-in aviaries that are actually incorporated into the construction...just on the first floor! 

This design is needlessly expensive. What's worse, some of the cages will apparently be glass-fronted, which will look fabulous, but is actually to the bird's detriment, simply because sometimes toucans like to land on the screen of their cage. 

Covering the front with glass will just reduce the opportunities the birds have to fully use their enclosure, but it will look fancy and high end for Mr. Afentful, who also discusses his preferences for a more industrial design look (I bet there's other outrageous statements made in the video but it's over 3 hours so long, so, I'll never know).

One of his followers even suggests that maybe the birds will fly into the glass, but Brock replies something to the effect that zoos have glass on their enclosures. Why yes, zoos, who have very expensive and enormous enclosures that are designed for the public's viewing pleasure, not a single, undeservedly spoiled human. 

I wonder if his fans believe that they can pay for his bills for the next potential 20 years of the bird's lifespan? Brock's latest video at the time of this writing suggests that his keel-billed toucan, Beatrix, is "wild" because she's not as cuddly as Toupac, Rhiannon, and Lalo(?). He suggests this is due to the poor treatment Beatrix received from the previous owner.

Which is it Brock? Are they bad pets because they aren't cuddly? Are they not cuddly only when they've been abused? And if they're supposed to be cuddly doesn't that make them good pets? Wouldn't a "wild" and bitey toucan be a much better "ambassador" for toucans making bad pets?? You make NO SENSE.

Furthermore, Brock is pretty scummy for obtaining another bird when he has inadequate room for the ones he has. Beatrix is in need of an upgrade, and I believe she is still housed in a divided enclosure next to another toucan that may be chronically stressing her. 

Brock's hoping his fans will keep paying for his living expenses. He suggests that only special people of his approval are qualified to care for toucans and only people without jobs like him can do it, and that's why WE need to send him money, or the poor birds have nowhere to go (and also, non-accredited zoos are not good enough for Beatrix! And that's why re-homing her is not possible).

Brock has excuses for everything that make perfect sense, after a certain level of inebriation. 


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Why is Rep. Mike Quigley Lying about the Big Cat Public Safety Act?


The Big Cat Public Safety Act WON'T Close "Roadside Zoos". 

For some awful, inexplicable reason, almost no one, and I'm not exaggerating, seems to understand what the "Tiger King Bill", the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1380) entails for animal owners and zoos. On both sides. This includes the bill's own sponsor, Mike Quigley. Either he is exceptionally ignorant to the terms of the bill he is pushing to pass, or he is simply lying to the public about what his bill will actually do. I'm not sure which is worse at this point. 

 After much research and messaging people about this proposal, I am finally confident that I have a firm grasp of what this bill does and why it is a grave injustice. 

Mike Quigley tells a blatant mistruth about his own bill.

H.R. 1380 in a Nut Shell

This bill bans the non-commercial private ownership of "big cats". This means people who are not USDA-licensed.

This bill includes a requirement for zoos and exhibitors holding big cats to keep people at least 15 feet away from them or the cats must be behind a "structurally sound" barrier. The only people who can come into physical contact with the cats are "trained employees", licensed veterinarians (and vet students), and a limited number of designated visitors under strict circumstances.

What the Bill Won't Do

Close any "zoo" of any kind, "roadside" or otherwise. Why? Every "zoo", which I define as a facility that holds animals to exhibit to the public, is required by law to be USDA-licensed. 

Big cats in backyards can be USDA-licensed. Private Owners can be USDA-licensed. 

Unless a zoo is not in "good standing" with their license (this concept is not defined), they are exempt from the Big Cat Public Safety Act. That means, theoretically, if Joe Exotic was out of prison and operating his zoo, and if he was in "good standing" with his license, this bill would not affect him, other than ending his "pay to play" tiger cub business. 

Joe Exotic would still be able to own, breed, sell, and exhibit any big cat. As well as thousands of other so-called roadside zoos.

Mike Quigley used this photo to suggest tigers in apartments are a problem. This famous incident (Ming the Harlem tiger) happened ONCE in 2003 and never again. The possession of this tiger was already illegal as is it likely is in all urban areas and the owner was charged, pled guilty, and jailed.

Why the Bill is Wrong

This bill automatically bans the small number of non-commercial big cat owners from being able to obtain anymore big cats. This has nothing to do with how well the animal is cared for. Some people believe that all private owners are keeping big cats in apartments and tiny backyards. They are wrong.

Just as you wouldn't expect a horse owner to keep a Clydesdale in an apartment, there are many big cat owners who practice commonsense responsible ownership, keeping their animals in spacious and structurally-sound enclosures. These owners often exceed the standards of some owners with USDA-licenses.

No matter how excellent a private non-commercial facility is, the owner cannot be USDA-licensed because they are not conducting a commercial exhibition business.

The USDA does not regulate private "pet owners". Private owners are all subsequently banned from owning big cats and it has nothing to do with their husbandry standards or experience

A licensed exhibitor could have far inferior husbandry and public safety protocols to a private owner and still be exempted from the Big Cat Public Safety Act. 

Good big cat owners who have responsibly owned their animals are punished FOR NO REASON and this is a grave injustice. 

Public Safety

Despite the name, this bill has little, if anything, to do with public safety. It enacts no stringent public safety protocols. It requires the public stay 15 feet away from big cats, but the USDA already made it illegal for the public to physically handle big cats older than 12 weeks (and less than 8 weeks). This bill essentially has been drawn to address commercial cub petting. Cub petting, while controversial for animal welfare reasons, was never a public safety issue. Some bites have occurred, but any animal can bite, including dogs and cats. 

This bill was drafted to legislate the opinions and ideological views of certain groups, not protect the public. 

This bill is designed to allow certain individuals to overstep their boundaries because it extends beyond the fundamental interests of the public and society. The public has a right to be concerned about the presence of dangerous captive animals and whether or not the animals are securely contained by responsible owners. This bill does nothing to address that, and seems to be laying the framework for future mandates that comprise merely the opinions of special interest groups that believe all big cats "belong in the wild". 

The bill is also loaded with ill-defined and ambiguous terms, such as the requirement that the USDA license be in "good standing", defining the "public", and numerous others.


The Big Cat Public Safety Act bans non-commercial pet owners from owning big cats and USDA-licensed facilities from letting the public pet big cat cubs. Pet owners can get around this if they sign up to be a "charity" as long as they don't sell, transport and display, breed, or allow the public to come into contact with their animals. Rep. Mike Quigley doesn't understand his own bill or he is lying to the public about what it does for some reason.



Friday, November 6, 2020

Check Out This Hypocrite: Derek Small of Wildlife Encounters

 So I made mention in my last post that I have more content planned discussing people who present "animal ambassadors" and my problems with them. I just happened to stumble on this person who exemplifies the worst of it, and unfortunately, his stance is not unique among animal exhibitors. 

Derek Small is the owner of Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center & Farm School, formally the Granite State Zoo and The W.I.L.D Center & Zoological Park of New England.

I saw him write this on Facebook, in response to a largely inaccurate map of the legality of kangaroos that was trending on Facebook:


So, we have our standard animal exhibitor nonsense. First, the animals he owns, cares for and lives with are "not pets". It's hard to find exhibitors who don't perpetuate this lie. Small throws around the mostly meaningless terms: "permit", "USDA licensed", "educational", and "ecology center" to make himself sound reputable and distinctive from private owners.

This bugged me enough, but scrolling through his Facebook profile (he's Facebook friends with people who sell exotic pets and even one who has sold an exotic pet to me) and learning about his operation, I really started seeing red. This post on his profile REALLY takes the cake:

I had so many mixed emotions seeing this. 

First, despair. This post was in response to a twitter comment from Kamala Harris who at the time of this writing is on track to taking the second highest position in our government. She touted that she is a co-sponsor of the miserable Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Second, I felt fury. Mr. Small laments that he must "side with the assholes" who want to keep monkeys, wild cats, "and such" as pets. Oh the humanity, poor Mr. Small.

And lastly... vengeful pleasure. Why? Because there's a silver lining to all these inevitable animal bans and regulations. It's that while I'll lose my rights, selfish hypocrites like Small will also suffer and possibly have to end their businesses. This "asshole" won't shed a tear when that happens. fact when I lose my last "exotic" pet I want a front row seat. 

Why is Small a hypocrite? I know what he's thinking. He believes that while private owners are just wreckless and unethical, he has a noble reason for owning animals and has special qualifications. 

I did some quick research on Small's qualifications, not that I believe you need any to own the creatures he possesses. Small has a B.S. of Education in Exercise Science and a minor in nutrition. He was a fitness director and then a personal trainer. At some point he was in sales at Enterasys Networks/ Cabletron Systems. 

With this substantial experience in animal husbandry, he started his path to zoo ownership and animal presentations. At his non-AZA accredited facility (but a member of ZAA and the FCF, pro-pet organizations), which is USDA-licensed and he really wants you to know it (the same professional rank awarded to Joe Exotic), he has "ambassador animals" such as foxes, a coati, reptiles, birds, amphibians, porcupines and of course the kangaroos he mentioned. 

There is literally no logical reason anyone can give on why only exhibitors should have animals that have reasonable care. Being USDA-licensed is something literally anyone can get and it just means you get inspected once or twice a year. It exists to regulate animal-owning businesses and is a requirement of such. Controversial zoos like the Cherokee Bear Zoo have the same "Federal license" he brags about.

Small can't even hide behind the excuse that he doesn't support the exotic pet trade and only "rescues" animals. He even admits on his website that some of his animals are "captive-bred in a US-based protected environment" using such specious terms, aka he purchased them from breeders like the rest of us. He has expensive animals that cost thousands like a 3-banded armadillo and brush-tail bettong, which he obviously bought. 

The other reason exhibitors believe they are so superior to us private owners is that they are "educational". I am later going to look into the research involving the educational value of animal ambassadors, but for now I can at least say this: even if they do possess some educational value, they are not mandatory or essential for a child's education.

Children can learn about wildlife and conservation without the use of live animals, and exhibitors cannot escape this fact: parading around with exotic animals on leashes, like Small is doing below, will inevitable create "assholes" like myself who want to do the same. 


People like me who have a brain will not be too impressed with the claims that these animals make "bad pets" when your ambassador is behaving brilliantly in front of an audience. Most members of your audience, who probably don't want exotic pets anyway, will buy what you're selling, but not us. That will work as well as telling teens to stay from drugs, but what's worse, showing us how fun it is to work with your animals is the equivalent of telling kids not to smoke, and then pulling out a blunt and showing them how great it makes you feel. 

People who don't support private pets shouldn't present "animal ambassadors", they should stick to documentaries and stuffed animals. While Little has at least chosen some employees with professional experience teaching science as presenters, he himself is just self-taught, like most gatekeeping exhibitors. He's no more qualified than the rest of us to care for animals. 

Little also writes on his website:

"we fundamentally disagree with and strongly oppose the efforts by small ideologically-driven segments of society to deprive domestic and wild animals and plants of their reproductive rights – and further oppose their long term agenda of domestic animal extinction and exclusion of animals from human society."

It's amazing to see Little complain about animal rights nuts who want all animals out of captivity but then call people who are no different than him other than not taking animals to presentations "assholes". 

What a loony. And speaking of assholes, I found a pathetic presentation on Little's Youtube channel featuring what I'm pretty sure is a live fish being chased, tortured and eaten alive for "education". Like anyone's paying attention to the insipid "facts" while watching the trapped fish swim for its life. This would have caused me significant distress as a child and even as an adult. This "presenter" even cheerfully speaks about a 2 year old toddler getting killed by a large pet snake for anti-pet propaganda. What a callous display of sociopathy and indifference.

This screen cap is protected under the "Fair Use" doctrine. It is essential for the point I'm making.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Brock Afentful (2Can.TV) Spits in his Fan’s Faces (and They Love It!).

First of all, I do believe in previous posts I promised to further discuss the "2 Can TV" situation in more detail, although I can’t really remember what I was planning to expand on. For those of you who don’t know me well, I suffer from a chronic illness called procrastinatosis, and I really do find it mentally exhausting to examine and discuss Afentful’s bafflingly obvious hypocritical behavior that only about one out of 200 of his followers even recognize and then deal with his inexplicably “confused” (to put it lightly and politely) fans and supporters. Honestly, I was planning on giving it a rest.

But then this happened.



What in the smoldering hypocrite Hell is this? Brock acquired another baby toucan? ANOTHER species? LESS THAN 3 MONTHS AFTER BUYING "RHIANNON"?

I’m at a loss. I was starting to successfully delude myself into believing that Brock might be starting to develop awareness of his contradictory behavior. I thought that maybe from now on, he’d start attempting to stay true to his word and only “rescue” these unique animals (for toucans, this means buying birds second hand from owners instead of breeders). 

I’m still not a fan of that, because toucans don’t need to be “rescued”. To demonstrate this, try searching for toucans that are available for adoption via Petfinder in your area, or really anywhere. I’ll be completely amazed if you find more than zero (of course, some are up for re-homing on Craigslist, which is the case for literally every pet species kept in captivity unless they are ultra rare).

But, Brock clearly has no shame, conscious, or even a basic moral compass. Shortly after using his donators’ money to replace his non-rescued $6500 red-bill toucan, he saw yet another species of toucan that was available and, being the “rescuer” of toucans that he is, started shooting the breeze with the breeder, who is Miguel Rocha by the way; a clear supporter of the exotic pet trade Brock whines about, a (former?) co-owner of what animal rights nuts would call a “road side zoo”, and he should be ashamed of himself for doing business with a harmful hypocrite like Brock.

Brock tells us that he wasn’t planning on getting this bird, but the breeder was excited to engage with Brock’s Youtube celebrity, subsequently fed his ego, and asked Brock if he wanted the bird.

Poor Brock was put in a compromising situation! He wanted the bird, but he’s saving “his” money that was given to him by donators to move to a new house. So, poor Brock said, “no thanks”, I’m saving up for my unaccredited “toucan sanctuary” (aka, an upgrade from his current quarters which appear to be a double wide trailer) and went on with his business because it’s not like he needs a new toucan when he barely has room for the ones he currently owns.

Wait, no, never mind. 

What he actually did was cry to one of his patrons (WAAAAHHH!! I WANT PRETTY BIRD NOOW AND I DON’T WANT TO SPEND MY MONEY WAAAAHHH!!!), and one patron bafflingly complied.


“Okay Brock, $6500+ coming right up! Don’t cry baby!” And so, Brock got a shiny new baby bird to add to his “rescue”.

So basically, he’s a psychopath and a bratty, blobfish of a human.

Who does that? 

Who, after already having hypocritically purchased a shiny new baby toucan, which is an action you claimed is bad and wrong, asks a stranger to buy you ANOTHER one because your greedy, spoiled af, entitled behind wants to collect a new species that isn’t regularly available? And then he has the absolute, treacherous gall to talk down to one of his fans who questions this action as seen in the reply below:


"Please remember that this channel is also about education. None of my birds are pets. My entire life revolves around their safety and care as well as sharing them with you guys. Ambassador animals serve a very important purpose with what I do because it takes the pressure off of birds like Beatrix that would otherwise be stressed out with me trying to film her constantly for content that my viewers demand. So not only do you guys get to see the contrast between a healthy, normally behaving bird and a rescue- but they can also take the load off of Toupac and Beatrix having to perform and interact for videos when each of them have varying degrees of ability to do so. There is a huge difference between someone like me, a keeper, and someone who expects to shove something pretty into a small cage and leave it in a corner of their home when they have 9-5 jobs, children, and lives to attend to. If I wasn't able to have the birds out here (and now outside) freely, for most of the day- I would not have a toucan. Thankfully because of YouTube I am able to dedicate my life to seeing that they get proper care and attention. And thanks to birds like Rhia and now this baby, I can feel more comfortable taking in birds in the future that would otherwise feel terrified of a strange human holding a camera and talking loudly around them. In the future, once we move and build the proper enclosures, you will likely see these birds the most while the more wild and traumatized birds live amongst themselves in a large outdoor enclosure with far less human interaction. You have to take the big picture into consideration. I hope this helps."

What a ghastly response. Of course, one of my ultimate triggers is someone saying that an animal that they care for, own, and live with is “not a pet”. How f*cking stupid. Of course it is.

But Brock takes it some steps further. In order to justify his toucan collecting, in the most condescending and smug tone, he refers to himself as a “keeper” and suggests that he needs to buy birds so they can be educational “ambassadors”, which makes utterly no sense, considering presenting well-behaved toucans will make them look like GOOD pets! (Which they are!). Why would he contradict his claim that toucans shouldn’t be pets by buying tame babies and presenting to the public that this is the way a “healthy” toucan should act?

By the way, I have a lot more content coming up discussing "animal ambassadors", even legit ones at licensed facilities with educated presenters, and why they are inherently conflicting. Brock however, is another level of ridiculous. He makes the other "ambassador" people look like Harvard law professors.

Brock suggests he NEEDS to buy birds so he can show the contrast between rescues and hand-raised babies (why the hell do people need to see that anyway?) and so that he can “rescue” more birds…how convenient for him, considering he was planning on breeding toucans. He practically suggests that only people milking money from Youtube should have toucans. He thinks that living off of donations and uploading a sh*tty home movie once a week is a career.

That begs the question, who was he living off BEFORE he started begging for donations? What about Ripley and the collard aracari named Zoey, who he never mentions? These birds are in a precarious situation, being collected by jobless Brock who hopes his generous patrons will support him and his pets for the 15+ years of their life.

I theorize at this point that perhaps, just like the cult leader Keith Renerie who I’m watching several docuseries about, Brock is able to deceive his fans by blatantly putting the egregious behavior on display so that, paradoxically, it is less likely to be questioned. It’s a special kind of narcissism where a person gets the ultimate thrill in openly lying or deceiving their supporters only to get their unwavering loyalty in return.

As you can see in the below photo, he literally finds the fact that he bought another toucan amusing and his fans echo the sentiment. 


Brock doesn’t even appear to even have enough ROOM for another toucan. "Toupac" is apparently cageless and sleeps on a perch. "Rhiannon" is likely staying in the divided enclosure with the unfriendly Beatrix and getting stressed the hell out of just like "Maeve" had endured.

Brock recently unveiled a very “meh” outdoor enclosure, finally deciding to give his larger toucans closer to the minimum of what reasonable owners provide, although it doesn’t appear to be a permanent living space, so I have no idea where the new bird is staying.

Brock feels that he didn’t take away funding for his fake toucan sanctuary home upgrade because, well, the patron paid for the BIRD. Brock feels his fans are dumber than gravel. Why did this “patron” have thousands of dollars to pay for Brock to add to his toucan collection but couldn’t donate this amount to Brock’s Fake-tuary? Imagine how many animals could have been helped with $6500. He could have transported toucans to new good homes that aren't his, but of course there's a better chance a pig will fly to Uranus before he ever does something that doesn't directly benefit himself.

As Brock has willing patrons lined up to pay for his emergency luxuries, it is apparent that he is not currently in need of money in any way and is lining his pockets with donations so that he doesn’t have to work (hell, I’ve even heard from a source that he didn’t even pay for his current home, but enough about that) and can keep upgrading his lifestyle, suckling off of his fans like a piglet or an engorged tick.

I won’t mince words here. Brock is a terrible human being. He is the absolutely worst example of an animal “rescue” hypocrite that I’ve ever seen in my life. He needs to go step on a heap of legos and get hang nails on every finger.

To the “patron” who paid for Brock’s bird: I beg of you, there are so many deserving pet owners who fall into a bind and can use $100 or so to pay for palliative and life-saving treatment for their pets. You can make a serious difference in someone’s life during a difficult time. That is if you actually exist, and if Brock didn’t just use his donator's money to get another bird and lie about it so that people keep funding his new house (which would be slimy behavior that I would NOT put past him at this point).

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Chrissann Nikel (Adventures in Toucanland, Toucan Lady BVI ) Dumped Her Toucans to Take Selfies

Who is Chrisann Nickel?

If you do a Google search about pet toucans, you’re bound to land on, next to the heavily promoted Youtube videos of publicity hound Brock Afentful (2.can tv), another popular website that continues to rank well on the search engine despite being defunct for years; the blog Adventures in Toucanland.

The owner of this blog and the Youtube channel ToucanladyBVI is Chrisann Nickel, who seems to be on vacation 24/7, and she apparently makes her living writing about her lavish travel experiences on tropical islands. She was not your typical pet owner, and apparently she had no bird experience at all before jumping into ownership of three adult toco toucans. 



First, the Good

Also, I have to say this before besmirching her integrity as a pet owner and person—she took excellent care of her toucans while she had them, from what I can see. And, for someone who has never owned a bird before, she really stepped up to the plate, did her research, and provided a relatively informative resource for other prospective owners. Prior to her last actions with the birds, she was a beacon of light among social media-dwelling toucan owners in contrast to despicable Brock Afentful and misguided Jamieleigh of Bird Tricks, both who, ironically, had more bird experience and passion than Chrissann when they acquired their first toucans. But here is where my compliments end.  

The "Three Cans"

For some strange reason, despite not appearing to be the type of person to throw down roots, Chrisann purchased 3 adult and presumably non-hand raised toucans from a dolphinarium in June 2011 to live on her boyfriend’s resort, Saba Rock, in the British Virgin Islands, and then at her home on the island’s mainland Virgin Gorda.

That lasted about 3 years. 

On August 30th 2015, she announced she was getting rid of her toucans because she just couldn’t do it anymore. She later replaced them with a purse dog, it seems. 

 “Though I have constant anxiety that this sounds horribly selfish, I must admit defeat – I just can’t do this anymore. We have sacrificed so much for these birds in time, money, and energy, and it has come at too great a price – having to prioritize their needs above our own has been detrimental to our life together, my career, and my overall well-being.

So, after spending a few years gaining clout for her social media, which appears to be her source of income, and dazzling readers with utopic photography detailing her life with the colorful pets in a lush, tropical, travel magazine cover-worthy setting, she inevitably got fed up with the bird’s care. She claimed the birds were literally detrimental to her well-being

In other words, she Myka Stauffered them. 

She apparently found them a seemingly decent home on British billionaire Richard Brandon’s private island (she clearly is well-connected). Although presumably some time in 2017, one of the birds, Paco, inexplicably passed away according to a comment she made on the blog. 

I don’t really have an issue with re-homing animals when unforeseen circumstances come up, but the problem I have with Chrisann is this: she should have known that toucan care would not match her lifestyle of constant traveling, and furthermore, for her to proclaim, after she gave up, after she was done advertising her toucan life as a happy paradise, that toucans and other animals shouldn’t be kept as pets, is ridiculous. Hence the pathetic quote below: 

“Having toucans has also made me a firm believer that these amazing creatures should not be kept as pets in captivity because they are such amazing creatures. They are highly energetic, intelligent animals who deserve the life they were created for. Trying to fit them into our human world isn’t fair. And just because you buy one that’s been captive bred does not make the animal any less wild at heart. Toucans are not a domesticated animal. I think all empathetic human beings eventually come to the conclusion that putting birds – or any animals, for that matter – in cages is wrong, archaic, and unnatural.


Chrisann Nickel's suffering toucan (above)

It's funny, because prior to her announcement that she says was "many months in the making", you'd think everything was going perfect based on her social media. Her second to last blog post was that of an interview with 2 other "toucan ladies" who love caring for their birds, and she subsequently betrays them in the next post, essentially calling them non-empathetic human beings carrying out wrong, unnatural, and archaic practices. 

Nickel used to have no such issues with trading the birds for time with her friends, but I guess that changed:

"Let me preface this by saying that I love my Three-Cans an indescribable amount and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, including to have my personal time back – the time I used to spend reading, with friends, and otherwise working towards my myriad of goals."

So now that Nickel no longer has the "Three-Cans", putting them in cages is cruelty…this is a scenario I’ve seen play out again, and again, and again. Now that she's done keeping toucans, the rest of us should be too. It is unbridled narcissism.

It’s one thing to say that toucans make poor pets, but another to say they shouldn’t be kept as pets at all. Furthermore, Chrisann perceives herself to be a humble person who is merely expressing her own experiences (the below quote is part of her response to me a few years ago), then she literally accuses people like me of having no empathy unless we believe putting ANY animal in a cage is wrong.

“…the opinions shared are simply my own based on my own personal experiences – I’m not trying to come across as some all-knowing expert, I don’t think anyone who visits this site is under that impression. This is my truth, as I know it to be.”

Toucans are Bad Pets Because...they Will Confuse Your Friends

And what exactly are her compelling reasons for her beliefs? Some of the reasons Nickel gives for telling her readers toucans make bad pets are ridiculous, including that you must buy their pellets (because it’s sooo difficult to click a button and have it delivered to your door), that they are not domesticated (neither are parrots), and the dumbest reason of all: that your friends will not understand you (who gives a flying rat's rear?). 

Chrisann is clearly a person who is absorbed by her social life and she needs to realize that not everyone is like her. She says in another blog post:

"We are no longer able to embrace our spontaneity. No more impromptu weekend getaways or even pop-up happy hours with friends."

 Oh no! Looks like having a toucan means I'll have to give up impromptu weekend getaways with my tons of friends...oh wait...I've never done that in my life. And I know I'm not the only one.

Viewing Nickel's Instagram account, womanonarock, it’s a wonder why she bought these birds and it’s amazing she kept them for as long as she did. As I repeatedly emphasize, toucans, just like any other pet, make good pets for the right owner, and Chrissann clearly wasn’t the right owner long-term. She leads an active lifestyle, taking multiple luxury trips, island hopping, and even traveling abroad. 

People who choose to live this way won’t have enough time to care for any bird, let alone a toucan, or even a rabbit unless they have an amazing pet sitter who is never unavailable and is essentially a second owner. She seems to take her current pet Chihuahua everywhere, including even Hawaii, which requires pet dogs to be quarantined for 2 weeks upon entry (toucans are illegal there, like most everything else), so she has finally found a pet ownership situation that works for her.

I’m glad that Chrissann finally found the right pet for her, but her blog remains a blemish on the internet that describes toucans as bad pets that suffer in captivity just because she impulse-bought hers and it unsurprisingly didn’t work out.

It’s clear that she gave them up to indulge in vacations to luxurious tropical locations and take selfies for her "career". Chrissanne should enjoy her spoiled, privileged life and not contribute towards wrecking the lives of others who might not be keen on traveling, don’t have 1,000 friends and would rather enjoy home-living with exotic pets.  

As Chrisanne may or may not be aware, exotic pet ownership is stigmatized enough without first (and last) time owners making these claims.