Millennium Post

Age of extinction

Age of extinction
 Why would it be so bad if animals like lions, tigers were to go extinct?

 There is a natural ecosystem in place in the world. Animals such as tigers, lions are at the top of the food chain. If one were to remove one element of the food chain, the whole ecosystem is affected adversely. The tiger for example, preys on animals such as wild boar, deer, sambhar deer, and gaur. If the tiger was out of the equation, the population of these animals would increase exponentially.

 This would mean that they now eat a lot more food. Now because of that, the forest vegetation would deplete and the habitat of smaller animals and insects would be in danger. The insects will now move on to farmland crops to survive and they will in turn, damage crops. This will adversely affect human food resources.

This is just the ecological aspect. There are a lot of other implications such as economic impacts, co-extinction of dependent species, climate change. The extinction of one animal can change everything. There were thick forests in the Sahara region. When tigers and large cats were hunted to extinction this is exactly what happened and now the whole area is desert.  

I’ve heard that cats are actually allergic to milk? Is this true?

It is a common myth that cats love and should drink milk. Actually, most cats are lactose intolerant and while they might fancy a bit of milk every now and then, the lactose in the milk is not good for the cat’s digestive system and can cause stomach problems. In fact, most cats will not drink milk unless they are very hungry. 
 Should I let my dog/cat meet other dogs/cats?

Socialisation makes a huge difference in a dog’s outlook on life. Instead of reacting fearfully to new experiences, the dog is comfortable when encountering new things, animals and people. This helps the dog and everyone else, since the most common cause of unprovoked dog aggression is lack of proper socialisation.

 It is introducing and familiarising a canine to new experiences – including people, places, objects, other animals – in ways that help the dog learn how to respond to and interact with these experiences appropriately and without fear. Therefore it is important to let your dog meet other animals and people when it is young.  Cats are formal creatures. They too need socialisation and without it they have anxiety when they meet new people or new animals and their reactions may be  aggressive. It is therefore important to have cats meet and interact with other animals from an early age and it should be made sure that these interactions are positive.

What is the difference between cows, bulls, buffaloes, and ox?

Cows, bulls, buffaloes and oxen all belong to the biological subfamily bovinae and are called bovines. A cow is a mature female bovine that has given birth. A bull is a mature, intact (testicles present and not removed) male bovine. An ox is a male bovine also known as bullock that has been castrated after maturity. 

And buffaloes are also bovines but are different from cows, bulls and oxen. They have a larger physique and they are almost always black in color. There are different species of buffalo like the water buffalo, African buffalo, Eurasian buffalo but the word buffalo is normally used for water buffaloes or domestic buffaloes.          
Can special licenses be obtained for keeping wild/exotic animals as pets?

The private possession in India of endangered cats listed under Schedules one and two of the Wildlife Protection Act is prohibited unless the person has a certificate of ownership for a wild animal he or she possessed at the commencement of the Act in 1972. 

Trade involving these animals is also prohibited under the Act. Considering that it is 2016 now, the chances of these animals still being alive is almost impossible which makes most elephant owners  criminals under this law. An animal shelter or a zoo can get special permissions but that is all.

Do snakes really drink milk?

This myth has killed lakhs of snakes. Indi-snakes are reptiles and do not consume milk. Milk is consumed and produced by mammals. Snakes drink water. Milk kills them.

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