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Source: Gary West, 785-532-4867, gwest@vet.k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415, khodges2@k-state.edu

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SIDEBAR: K-STATE VETERINARIANS TREAT PECULIAR PETS THAT MEET THE EXTREME

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University veterinarians in zoological medicine often receive requests for help from owners of a variety of animals, but some requests are far from ordinary.

K-State's Gary West, assistant professor of zoological medicine, said there are many exotic animals that are inappropriate as pets. West gives some examples of animals whose owners have sought the help of veterinarians at K-State's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital:

* Pet red kangaroos. They can weigh more than 80 pounds and intact males become aggressive once they are mature.

* A white tiger cub from a traveling circus.

* Elephants from a traveling circus. The animals escaped and authorities wanted doses of sedatives in order to recapture the animals.

* Pythons stretching longer than 12 feet.

* Zebras.

* Lions.

* Capuchin, vervet and macaque monkeys.

* Mountain lions. Owners have asked for them to be declawed.