Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why No Hamsters?

Well in answer to Ori's question, yes, you are right. New Zealand has no native mammals except for our little bats. When the Maori first came to Aotearoa (New Zealand) they brought rats which began to kill our native birds. The birds had lost the ability to fly as there were no natural predators. When Europeans came to New Zealand they brought many other pests, such as cats, ferrets, more rats, rabbits, possums, stoats, dogs, deer, well you name it! Our little country is not really suited for all these bird hungry animals and we have lost a lot of our native birds. The New Zealand symbol the Kiwi is endangered thanks to ferrets and stoats, so there has been a great effort to rid the country of them. The keeping of Ferrets as pets was banned last year as it was felt that too many were escaping and killing our birds. I remember at the time there was an abusive letter in a New Zealand newspaper from the American Ferret Society. The writer stated the the 1 million members in the USA would boycott New Zealand goods as a protest against our government's policy. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
That is why there a no hamsters here. I suppose we have no idea what they will do if they were to escape from captivity, so they are not allowed. I am a little sad about it, but I understand.
It is all about protecting your unique animals. Just like Australians are desperate to save their native animals from the introduced pests there. Here is a link to Aotearoa native animals.

Hope that answers your question? Where's your El Paso post?

San Nakji for President!


Oricon Ailin said...

Oooh...thank you for the answer! I like to watch Discovery Channel and Animal Planet all the time. Both tv channels talk about animals and their native habitats.

I am always fascinated to hear about other areas and other animals.

I'm sorry you can't have hampsters, but truly, it's for a good reason.

Check my blog, my El Paso entry is up!

fdfs said...

I love ferrents. JUst like you, in states that don't allow ferrets, it just makes me want to smuggle some in. They're so cute and cuddly.

Great blog!