Reptiles are not cute

I am not very fond of reptiles like snakes, lizards and crocodiles. But I am fascinated, like I am fascinated of all other living creatures in nature.

I don’t see reptiles as pets (and I am glad I do not have such pets), but I know others do. Probably millions of you out there. In Norway were I live it is illegal to have reptiles as pets, or to sell such animals, without a special permit. There are different reasons for this. One reason is because it is difficult to give the animals the right living conditions in privat homes. If you ask someone with special knowledge of these animals they will probably tell you that snakes and crocodiles don’t like to be treated like pets. Unlike dogs, horses and other pets they do not like cozy behaviour or to cooperate with humans. They might even be very dangerous.

I just came across these images by chance today. I took them two years ago in a small zoo, Oslo Reptilpark.  I was there with a workshop in macro photography, and it was the first time I tried macro lenses, which I since have bought myself, that is a 100 mm macro, mainly to use in flower phography. But of course it was interesting to see all these animals that were all from much warmer countries than Norway. There is even a society for reptile freaks in Norway. Want to see more of my reptile images, here is a link.

The above species is a tokay (Gekko gecko) from Asia. I have mayself seen one “live” in Bali, climbing walls. According to Wickipedia the are not the best pet: “When the Tokay bites, they often won’t let go for a few minutes or even up to an hour or more, and it is very difficult to remove without causing harm to the gecko. Submerging it partially in water may settle it down, encouraging the lizard to let go, but it causes harm and stress. A less stressful method is to simply put a drop of vinegar on the gecko’s nose, which sometimes makes them let go. Its bite is very powerful. For this reason, it is considered to be best as an ornamental animal for experienced reptile owners.”

Iguanas are among the most popular reptile pets in USA, but as I can read from many websites, not as easy to keep as many think. Like this quote from About.com.ezotic.pets: “And they grow, often very large (if they survive) and they can be difficult to tame and become aggressive.” Myeself I have a dog.

The norwegian Scientific Committee for Food evaluated the risk of poor animal welfare for certain species of reptiles and amphibians, in case some of this species will be permitted. Here is the summary of the report (in norwegian).

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