Animals like humans have interesting personalities and nuances. The best part of meeting these creatures was asking there owners specific questions about diet, sleeping patterns and interesting habits. I mean, do you know how many chickens a Burmese python can eat in a week?
I met this tortoise and several others in Switzerland in a friends backyard garden. This was not my first visit to the garden but for some reason on previous visits I had totally missed the enclosure. I was fascinated by the discovery. It was my first tortoises watching experience. (As a side note, traveling this past year has given me the opportunity to sit quietly and observe. I am so thankful!)
Back to the tortoise. Within 10 minutes a slug veered straight into the tortoises path. They gently bumped into each other, knocked heads several times until the tortoise realised lunch had arrived. His bight was quick and deadly. The garden owner later told me that these animals are herbivores. I guess even tortoise like to try new things.
She also told me about hatching the eggs inside an incubator in the house as the ground was to cold and that one of the animals was 50-60 years old. I was shown a 1, 3 and 10 year old Tortoise. The animals were fed lettuce, pellets and the occasional apple that fell from the tree above. Generally they were left alone to wander through the grass and dirt. If you are looking for a low maintenance animal this would be it!
Meet Mr. Noodle, named after the noodle box he was delivered in. Mr. Noodle has to be the cutest guinea pig I have ever seen. My sister-in-law purchased a harness and leash for him so that he could experience the great outdoors of the backyard. He has a tendency to run away otherwise. He enjoys carrots, lettuce and lawn. Much like a dog, he rolls to one side and exposes his belly if you scratch his behind.
Palawan and Negros, Philippines
Scooter was my buddy. He actually belonged to friends but he would spend the night on my porch when he was not tied up at home. I miss him.
Rema was a friends puppy. We first met her at our 2011 New Years party. She knew she was loved. She was feisty and perhaps a bit bossy with the other dogs. By the end of our week stay she was the pudgiest little fur ball in the neighbourhood. Her name was derived from adding the Re of Reto and Ma of Margo together. Yes, we were fond of her.
Sheila is a very large Burmese python. She eats a chicken a week however we were told she is hungry enough for two. Neat to look at but I am not sure what else you can do with her.
These cute duo were from the same litter at one of our guest houses on Malapascua island. Occasionally they would sleep on our door mat at night. They could always be found wandering around the garden chasing each others tail or playing with passers by.
Muang Sing, Laos
These two were so cute! I named them the welcoming committee because they were always around to greet our group. Such an unlikely duo.
My friend and I went on a snorkeling trip while in Coron, Philippines. These two must have belonged to the island caretaker. They were so friendly and obviously in love with each other!
One thing you will notice if you have done any third world travel is the difference in animal care. Some dogs, like North America, are kept as pets. However, more often than not they live on the street and are left to fend for themselves. As I learned some cultures even eat dog. It was hard to observe but this is life.
The combatants, referred to as gamecocks, are specially bred birds, conditioned for increased stamina and strength. Cocks are given the best of care until near the age of two years old. They are conditioned, much like professional athletes prior to events or shows. Wagers are often made on the outcome of the match.
Advocates of the sport often list cultural and religious relevance as reasons for perpetuation of cockfighting as a sport.