Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Bea and Wilma

This something different…

Perhaps they’ve bonded over their long necks? Their beautiful gaits? Whatever it is, something magical has brought Bea the giraffe and Wilma the ostrich together at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. According to zookeepers, the two young creatures just can’t seem to get enough of each other.

Bea, 3, and Wilma, 10, live on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain, an exhibit filled with giraffes, zebras, rhinos, African elephants and birds. Though most animals tend to hang out with their own species, Bea and Wilma – who were both born and raised on the theme park grounds – have reached out to each other. "There’s plenty of opportunity for the animals to interact and know one another," assistant curator Jason Green tells ‘PEOPLE Pets’. "Giraffes and ostriches are both naturally curious animals, too, and they don’t shy away from checking each other out."



August 12, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , | Leave a comment

Camel riders jockey for race cup

photoOn most days of the year, Jason Pfafman is a mild-mannered computer engineer for Intel in Seattle.

But once a year, he and his family come to Virginia City to be camel jockeys and take on “feather backing,” as they call riding an ostrich. He leaned as far forward as he could, flattening his body to the camel to win one heat Friday.

“It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s certainly not the kind of thing people back at work would believe,” Pfafman said.

From far and wide, as a television sportscaster might say, a crowd of 5,000 or more is expected for the 50th year of International Camel Races at Virginia City.

The Aussies are here. Champion jockeys Shorty Smith, from Tasmania, and Ian Rowan, from Alice Springs, Australia, are here to compete for the International Cup on Sunday. The cup is traded between the winner at Virginia City and Alice Springs, which had its 38th annual race this year. There is no prize money. Just a cup.

Surrounding Alice Springs in the middle of the Australian desert are more than a million feral camels. Many more were born this year because of rainy weather, Rowan said.

In Alice Springs, wild camels are captured and trained to race when they’re young. They’re bigger and stronger than the domesticated animals raced at Virginia City, he said. And they also are used for safaris to the Outback.

In Virginia City, the stock comes from Joe Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm in Kansas. In addition to camels and ostriches, he has brought emus and a zebra. Children take to the field to race with the emus.

You can’t exactly say it’s the 50th annual camel race in Virginia City. But it’s the 50th year since the first race.

And it was a hoax. Bob Richards, now deceased, a reporter from the Territorial Enterprise, made up a story about camel racing on the Comstock in 1959 that was picked up by the news wires. Soon, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Phoenix Sun challenged each other to a real race, and that’s how it began.

John Huston, in Reno to direct “The Misfits,” was an original camel jockey while Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe watched.

For a couple of years after that, no race occurred because of lack of interest, a lack of camels and a lack of funding, said Joe Curtis, who owns the Mark Twain Bookstore.

The camel jockeys come back year after year to race and volunteer in putting on the event, said Kristy Bond, 47, a fire captain from Mt. Shasta, Calif., who sported a hat with feathers. Many camp right next to the racetrack.

Bond considers racing the ultimate challenge of balance.

Karla Burrell, owner of Silver Sadie’s Old Time Photo in Virginia City, has been riding for eight years now.

“It’s an adrenaline rush like no other,” she said.

Linda Conroy of Carson City attended her first race Friday as a spectator.

“It was great,” she said, saying her favorite moment was watching an ostrich run in circles.

“I liked the little Australian dude,” said her husband Steve, in watching Shorty Smith.

When was the last time you witnessed a camel or ostrich race? If you haven’t yet experienced it, you must make it a point to attend this hilarious and unpredictable event. A Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival tradition for years, camel and ostrich races continue to captivate audiences with their crazy riders and unexpected animal behavior.

Did you know that the ostrich is the largest bird on earth today and the only two-toed bird on earth? African natives use ostrich eggs as canteens! Don’t believe the myth that ostriches stick their heads in the sand when frightened. One fact, however, that is true, is this birds’ ability to run at very high speeds in excess of 40 MPH. At that speed, it’s a good thing that ostriches have excellent eyesight, and it makes for more excitement at the races!

Camels are fun to watch too, but they have more important uses to Bedouin people, who say that the camel gives the local tribesman his mobility as well as his beast of burden. He can ride it to his date garden, to a distant market, a port – or for fun, such as in the traditional races.

Although JOMP is not a fan of any kind of animal racing events… these are always interesting races!!

Prairie Meadows camel and ostrich races

Quite a crowd for the Prairie Camel and Ostrich Races in August 2009

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 14, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beef verses Bison For Dogs

Although cows (beef) and buffalo (bison) are both considered “red” meats, they are two distinct protein sources. Veterinarians have recognized that feeding your pet (or your own body, for that matter) the exact same food for a lifetime cheats your pet out of excellent nutrition that a variety of meats and other foods can offer.

Remember, there is no one “perfect” protein, or food. Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive. Bison meat is one of the richest natural sources of CoQ10 (humans should eat more bison as well!). Your dog will benefit from offering him or her this terrific alternative to the typical beef or chicken-based dog foods.

I recommend you rotate at least 3 different proteins annually (the more the better… I feed LOTS of different proteins to my pack: rabbit, ostrich, duck, quail, chicken, turkey, beef, bison, elk, venison, goat and fish before starting the list over).  

I also occasionally throw in some roast (free-range) pork, if I have fixed it for the family. However, if you do feed your dog some pork now and then make  sure the meat is fresh and well cooked, eliminating the chance of your dog getting worms from eating eating it. Pork is a fatty meat and has the potential to cause pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life threating illness, so feed it sparingly.

I also feed my dogs organ meats:  heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, gizzards, and brain twice a week. Organ meats are a nutrient dense source of food and too much organ meat is not good.

  • There are two approaches to feeding organ meat:

    1. Feed organ meats in larger amounts twice per week.

    2. Feed organ meats every day but in smaller amounts

  • Liver is high in oil soluble vitamin A (not to be confused with the vegetable source of vitamin A also known as beta carotene). If you feed too much liver then you will actually cause liver stones because liver stones are created when the body gets too much oil soluble vitamin A. 

  • If you choose option 1 and thus feed organ meats twice per week, then the organ meat should be approximately 50% of the meat source. So let’s say, as an example, you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would then use approximately 1/2 cup organ meat and 1/2 cup muscle meat.

  • If you choose option 2 and thus feed organ meat every day then approximately 10% of the meat source should be organ meat. So let’s say again, as an example, that you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would add approximately 1/8 of a cup as organ meat and the rest as muscle meat.  My personal favourite is heart because of its high taurine content.  Taurine is an essential amino acid.  Also often mix the liver or organs with brown rice and veggies.

Your dog will thank you for the variety.

Source:  Dr. Mercola

Another reason to feed your pets inside…


May 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments