[intro music] Don’t shave me, please. – Hey! What’s up, creatures? It’s Em.
– And Danny! And today I’m back with another “Pet YouTuber Reacts” video. Today, Danny and I are going to be reacting to problematic viral animal videos. If you don’t know me already, my name’s Em. I’m a former zookeeper and I’m also an animal educator. And I’m Danny. Ditto, plus hand model. [laughs] Dittle do, dittle do, dittle do~ If you haven’t already, make sure you hit that subscribe button below. Also, hit that notification bell down in the corner there so you don’t miss a single upload. Now, being an animal person, I am obsessed with watching a ton of animal videos, especially the really really cute ones. But every so often I come across a “cute” viral animal video which I think, “Hang on a second, this is actually cruelty.” So today, we’re going to be giving our perspective on a couple of problematic animal videos that went viral, and why they’re a problem. Not my first time seeing any of these videos, but it’s your first time seeing some of these, isn’t it? – It is, absolutely.
– The first video we’re going to look at today is called “Parrot and Hamster Playing with Hamster Wheel”. I didn’t come across this on YouTube, I actually saw it on Facebook, where it has significantly more views than here on YouTube. – That was my chair, not a fart.
– Nice. Oh my goodness! He – he grabbed the hamster and threw him into the wheel. Mhm. [gasps] Oh, wow. No, no good. That’s going to be a very dizzy hamster. – Oh.
– It is. Um, and the crazy thing is, look at the likes to dislikes ratio. People think this is absolutely hilarious. With hamsters and other small animals, if they become very stressed in a short period of time, they can die. They can have heart attacks. What I found actually that’s really interesting about this is that the parrot pretty much deliberately put the hamster in there in the first place. Now, did someone teach this to the parrot? That’s what I find really disturbing. I think yes, because just looking at the way the video is set up, there is a camera right there on the wheel. I think that that parrot has been taught to put objects into the wheel and spin it. And the person, whoever it is, who actually owns this video and shot it, probably then taught the parrot a command, which we can’t hear cause obviously, there’s really cute music playing over the top of this video. I do believe that the person behind the camera, though I cannot substantiate this, I do believe that they have taught that bird a command where he learns to put something into that wheel and spin it in order to get a reward. And furthermore, looking at the scale of the two animals, that’s a baby hamster, which is why the parrot was able to get away with picking it up. As well as the hamster being a baby, what bothers me is if you’ve ever been bitten by a conure, which I have been on a number of occasions, they have a very very tough beak. They are not a soft-billed bird. And it’s very tough, and that bird can very easily injure that baby hamster with its beak on its scruff. Not to mention, if that hamster really wanted to bite, it could deliver quite a painful bite. Yeah, there’s significant risk to both of those animals right there. So when you see these sorts of videos, I’d really love you to question, “Is this actually cute? Is it funny? Why are these animals doing what they’re doing? Is it a natural behavior? Cause that wasn’t natural. Okay, let’s (singing) jump along again to another video~ The next video that we are going to be looking at involves kittens! Or one kitty in particular. Okay, so we have a pet door… wavering. Flapping. Flap, flap. We have a breach. You wanna come in? Or you wanna stay out? – What are we doing?
– Peekaboo! There’s a cat coming through the – Oh, wow. That’s a whole lot of cat coming through the cat door. That cat needs a cat garage.
[cat meows] That is morbidly obese. That’s horrible. Now, it’s really cute to see the cat squeezing through a small space like that, but obviously that cat is incredibly unhealthy. Super, super obese. Probably months away from some catastrophic, like, liver damage – or –
– Sorry, cat. Cat-astrophic. – Cat-astrophic!
– It was the pun. I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at the cat. Yeah, but some catastrophic liver damage there for sure. Looks cute, but no. Fat cats, not cute. Now, I have to make a bit of a confession here. I love the look of fat or chubby animals because of popular media. You see, like cute little pin badges of like, a fat cat that looks like a potato. I think in popular culture we are taught that fat animals are cute, that they’re really adorable. Now, if an animal genuinely has a medical problem, then I totally sympathize with owners who often try and exhaust every avenue to get their pet healthy. But the key thing is that animals, especially when they’re pets, they don’t make the decision on what they eat. Often it’s their parents, their pet parents who actually look after them. I hate saying “owners”. Normally it’s their “owners” who decide what they eat, how they exercise, how much space they have, so when an animal becomes obese or morbidly obese, it’s not the animal’s fault. It is usually on the owner, unless there is an underlying medical condition. So when I see something like that being pushed as, like, a really cute video, and people are like “Oh my god, it’s such a cute fat animal! I love it when they’re so fat!” No, it’s unhealthy. And unless an animal is then given further treatment, it can have genuine health implications the way that humans can when they are you know, at an unhealthy weight, whether it is too heavy or too light for that particular person. You can have heart failure, you can have diabetes. Diabetes is a huge problem here in the States with a lot of animals because of the things that we feed animals, so… – It’s an issue.
– No, it definitely is an issue. An animal like this is not going to be long-lived. But I’ve noticed that recently, there seems to be a bit of a trend where morbidly obese animals are being showcased as cute. And I’ve seen this significantly with sugar gliders. – Yes! I didn’t even think of that.
– Yeah, I’ve seen this with sugar gliders lately, where it’s actually – people are doing this on purpose, and they’re making their pets morbidly obese. Obviously, they are not living long. These are animals meant to glide. They’re not meant to plummet down like paperweights, like beanbags. So it’s just all wrong. And just – no. No morbidly obese animals. It’s up to you. You as a responsible pet owner have to keep these animals in the proper condition. As I’ve said, they don’t know any better, so there’s actually no excuse at this point. It’s well-known that morbid obesity is a major cause of death once it’s present. And sometimes it’s actually reversible as well. So even an animal like this that we are seeing, like this cat probably hasn’t got long to live, sadly. Sadly not. But if you are, for whatever reason, struggling with getting your pet to a healthy weight, then the best thing you can do is address that. Talk to your veterinarian, talk to an animal dietician. You do get pet nutritionists. And you can actually get specifically created diets that are reduced calorie for pets as well, through your veterinarian or through specialized pet shops. So there are many, many options. Okay, the next video is going to be “Funny Dog Walking on Hind Legs.” Here we go. Oh, these videos really, really bother me a lot, because I think most people don’t know the story behind them. They don’t. So what you see here, it looks almost like, “Oh my god, it’s so cute! It’s trying to walk like a little person! Someone’s taught it a really cute trick!” Yes and no. Someone has taught it to do this, but it’s not nice, the way that they teach them to do this. It is not natural. – Do you wanna take it from here?
– Yeah. They are forced into that upright position and the second that they put their feet back down on all fours, they usually get some kind of negative reinforcement in the way of a beating. I’ve seen electrical prods used for this training. And for some reason, this seems to be an obsession that stems from Russian caretakers. I’ve seen this with everything from bears to dogs, cats, where they’re obsessed in the circus world there on having animals walk on two feet. So now this translates over to the Internet where we’re seeing this, where people are dressing the dogs in cute ways to kind of hide the fact, to offset the fact, that there was a lot of dark training involved in getting the animals to behave in this fashion. Now, there’s nothing wrong, when you see someone who has taught their dog to walk on its hind legs as a quick trick, and then they give them some positive reinforcement, some love and a treat, that is usually a very enjoyable experience for a dog. But walking upright like this for a prolonged period, that puts a ton of stress on the animal’s hipbones. The digestive system and the heart cannot function properly. They are not bipedal. They don’t have the same kind of internal structure that we have in place to help us digest and pump the blood around. They have to be horizontal. They are quadrupeds. They walk on all fours. So to see an animal walking like this for a prolonged period of time is deeply upsetting. And you did make an interesting point that you think it stems from Russia. Yes, I have seen it with the bears walking there. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen in other parts of the world. I’ve seen this a lot, actually, from where I grew up in Asia. So in China – I actually grew up in Hong Kong, and I’ve seen people doing this for money on the streets. And I thought it was adorable as a child. But it is animal exploitation and you shouldn’t support it. So if you are traveling around anywhere, and you see people trying to get attention by having their cute animal walk around, maybe you can pay some money to take a picture with it, avoid. Because people who do this with their dogs, they go through these dogs like wildfire. They – as soon as the dog doesn’t wanna perform anymore, sometimes they are abandoned, sometimes they are killed. So – and that’s not an overexaggeration. If the animal is not making them money, a lot of these people cannot afford to wait for something else that’s gonna make them money. They’re on to the next thing. They’ve got several dogs that can do this. So please do not support this. It’s not cute. Okay, the next video we’re going to be looking at… I have a lot to say about. It’s called “Siberian Husky Shaved Mohawk Haircut Summer 2012”. – Why?
– Now, this isn’t exactly a viral video, thank goodness. But I wanna talk about this. – Oh, this is not a good thing. Okay, I get it –
– Ahahaha! It’s got a mohawk. – She’s so fluffy!
– Yes, everyone’s used to seeing the fluffy husky with all the hair, and so this is obviously unique and different and cute. But this is so bad for the dog. Why? I’ll take it from here! I’ll tell you why. So, huskies are a double-coated breed. Other examples of double-coated breeds are Keeshonds, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows. These are all double-coated breeds. And with a double-coated breed, it’s very easy, as an owner, to get a lot of hatred when you’re walking your animal in broad daylight in the summer and people will shout and say, “Your dog is too hot! You have to shave its coat!” Do not shave your double-coated breed’s coat. Same with Samoyeds, I’ve seen it with Samoyeds as well. People feel the pressure to shave their dogs cause it’s either cute, they give them puppy cuts, which are very popular, especially in the Far East, and they’re also very common here now in the US as well. It’s when they just look really cute. It’s very popular with the toy breeds. But when you do this, when you shave a double-coated breed, you are taking away that dog’s ability to warm itself and to cool itself. I know it’s a little bit of an oxymoron when I say it out loud, but a double coat actually helps to insulate a dog in the winter and it helps to keep them cool in the summer. If you shave them down, the coat rarely comes back the same. The only time you should see a shaved husky or when you should shave your own husky or double coated breed, is if they have, say, a Staph infection and it’s at the discretion of the veterinarian. It’s a sad thing to do, but if you have to do it for medical reasons, I understand it, that’s fine. But when you’re doing something like this for fashion or to make a statement or to be funny, it’s not funny, it’s not cute. It is hugely detrimental to the dog, – which can then suffer heatstroke, it can suffer –
– Sunburn. Sunburn, exactly. It can suffer so many different things. Unfortunately, by reading the comments, I can see there’s still a lot of a lack of education around this topic when it comes to grooming dogs. Now, I’m not a dog groomer, but you never shave a double-coated breed. There’s people actually in the comments saying, “My husky loves being shaved! I’ve done it every year for ten years! No heatstroke! No sunburns! Fur grows back exactly the same, takes about four months, and he is much happier. All these people on here are just dumb. I spoke with three vets and a specialty vet service. Not sure why these idiots think it hurts them, but it doesn’t.” Wrong! You are wrong! There is no justification for shaving a double-coated breed. And maybe this person who commented is lucky. Maybe their husky didn’t have any repurcussions. But there are plenty that will. So please don’t put pressure on other people to shave their double-coated breeds. Yes, you can give them a little bit of a tidy-up, a bit of a clipping. Yes, if they have a medical problem, they should take care of that coat. If it has to come off, it has to come off. But if it’s not an absolute life-or-death situation, please do not shave your double-coated breeds. – It’s not cute.
– Don’t. Don’t shave a husky. – You’re like a double-coated breed.
– I know I am. You know what, actually? I’m like a double-coated breed! I’ve got, like, – undercoat and top coat –
– Now I’m double-coated – hold on, ready – – Now I’m double-coated.
– You’re double-coated? Don’t shave me! Don’t shave me, please. Look, I look like somebody from Game of Thrones. – Um…
– [humming] The Count. – [continues humming]
– I was going to say, it’s definitely not Khal Drogo. [laughing] ♪ There was once a little puppy named Kiba that got shaved ♪ Oh my – stop! ♪ He no longer has a double coat ♪ – If you ever shave my dog, I swear, Danny…
– ♪ I’m going to shave and cornrow your dog ♪ …the first day you go away. – Surprise!
– [laughing] So this next video that we’re going to be looking at today is actually one that I had to take a screen recording of myself, because I couldn’t get it on YouTube. But it was a video that was going viral on Twitter – cause I like to play on lots of different social media, and Twitter is a really interesting place to be. Very interesting a lot of the time, especially when it comes to animals. I will let you know whose video this is – – or maybe I won’t, in case they get loads of hate.
– Nah. – I’m not gonna let you know whose video this is.
– Call ’em Fred. We’ll call them Fred. Here we go. This is not my video, it’s a video I took off of Twitter. This is Fred’s video. What is it? – Oh, a little turtle.
– Yeah. – Bye.
– [gasps] Oh… – …Release gone bad.
– Yeah. So, the story behind this video and the reason why it is so upsetting is that these people, who might be genuinely quite nice people to things that are not animals, – To fish.
– [laughs] They found this turtle and they decided to take it home as a pet. I don’t know how long they had it as a pet, but this is them releasing the animal back into the wild. I do not know if it was injured initially. I do not think it was. And I can see from the actual person who uploaded that they kept it for a pet just for a little while not a long time. There are lots of issues with this video. – Take it away.
– Well, I have a lot of issues with this. First of all, it’s probably illegal to take the animals out of the wild. We’ll glaze over that one for the moment, alright, because we’ve got so many other points to hit on this. Two, we have the worldwide transmission of all kinds of nasty diseases, – fungi – fun-jai? Is that how you say it?
– Fun-gai. – Fungi. Oh, is it as if you say “fun guy”?
– Cause you’re a fun guy. Fungi, bacteria, all kinds of infections can be spread to wild populations from captive populations. So please never release an animal like that without knowing. The best case scenario is usually having a professional do it. Lastly, one of the worst things about this is the fact that you’re negatively impacting the turtle populations, which they don’t need today. This kind of a pet peeve for me here in the US with the native species, – which is the box turtle.
– Mhm. People find box turtle and decide to take them home as pets. Even if you take them home as a pet temporarily, you have sealed that animal’s doom. Mostly because they exhibit a very specific – they live in a very specific territory. They exhibit a behavior called sight fidelity, which means that they’re born in an area, they learn that area, and they never leave it because they can find all of their immediate needs there. Once you take an animal like a box turtle and put it outside of its range, if you return it to a place where it wasn’t born, where it’s not from, that turtle is dead. It will wander forever looking for the place that it knows, and it will get hit by a car or taken by a predator or just end up somewhere that it shouldn’t. So please please please – *especially* turtles, they are way more complex than a lot of people give them credit for. Leave them alone. They’re cute. Leave them alone. We get it. Not only is it very illegal throughout many of the United States of America to bother any wildlife or to take it home, if you do take it home, that’s another breach of the law. You are only supposed to take an animal home if you are a wildlife rehabilitator. And even then, sometimes it can be only up to a period of 24 hours. If you find an injured turtle or tortoise, the best thing you can do is contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. In the US, you must be licensed. It’s not just someone who likes animals and wants to care for them. As much as those people are wonderful, they need actual medical treatment if they are sick. Now, with the release, by taking that animal into captivity, they’ve not only exposed the animal to new bacterias, and then they’ve put it straight away into the water, which is not the correct place to release a turtle, mind you. If you’re gonna release a turtle or a tortoise, it has to be slowly in a place where there’s lots of cover where they can get their energy up and go out into the wild themselves in an appropriate area. But that fish has now eaten that turtle. It is going to suffer a very slow, very agonizing death. It’s not quick. That fish wouldn’t have chewed. No matter where you are, if you find an animal, please do not take it into captivity unless you have the permission to do so if the animal desperately needs it and if you are going to be responsible for that animal for the rest of its life. There is a fantastic book called “Le Petit Prince”- “The Little Prince”? Do you have it here? – No.
– Well, Le Petit Prince is a fantastic novel, it’s beautifully written, and there is a wonderful quote in there which I will have to insert, but it goes something along the lines of, “If you take the responsibility to tame something, if you tame something, you are responsible for it forevermore.” It’s a sort of derivative of that – I’ll put the quote in, it’s a beautiful quote. I try to keep that in mind whenever I tame an animal: it becomes your responsibility. You have to love it. You have to care for it. [wind chimes] Nobody is entitled to steal an animal from the wild because they want to live out a fantasy of being a wildlife rehabilitator. People go through years of training to have the level of expertise it takes to properly rehabilitate an animal. This one you’re gonna enjoy. It’s called “Man Gives Hippo a Spank to Impress a Girl. – Okay.
– LA Zoo.” Okay. – Let’s have a look-see.
– That’s just madness there. Oh, so the guy’s stepping over the barrier at the zoo where there’s hippos grazing, sneaking up on them over the barrier. And he smacks the hippo [fart sound] and jumps over the fence. – Okay.
– [clapping] [sarcastic] So clever! – Alright.
– This is exactly the type of little rat that I would throw in the exhibit with hippos with nothing but lettuce to cover himself for a day. It will humble him. He will never slap a hippo butt ever again. Now, this is an issue for a ton of reasons. – [laughs]
– As a former zookeeper, I cannot tell you the amount of time out of my day I would take to say, “Please don’t put your keys in the lemurs’ enclosure.”
“Please stop trying to feed the donkeys.” “Do not touch the goats, they will headbutt you.” And all the time, there’s that one person who feels like, “It’s okay! I’m above the rules! I’ve got a connection with animals!” And will have to try and take a chance to mess with an animal for a selfie, or to get, like, that magical hands-on moment of touching an animal. Lemme tell you something. It is so selfish not to read the barriers and the signs on the barriers. They are there for a reason. Please don’t go in. There’s nothing cool about that. That girl was laughing at that guy “impressing” her by slapping the hippo. Wow, you really wanna impress the girl? Try that in the wild. You try that with a hippo. People think that hippos are these really cute, fun, jolly animals, because hey! They’re fat! Which is what we were talking about at the beginning. And hippos look really cute. They kill more people in Africa than any other animal in Africa. They are so vicious. They are so territorial. There is no escaping when a hippo wants to run you down. They may be big, but they can move. They will outswim you. They will track you down. They will stomp you. They’ve got these huge teeth! And if that guy had fallen in there, that would not have ended well. Not only that, Danny, not only that, but zookeepers put in so much time from the moment an animal arrives or is born at the zoo. They give trust exercises. They build relationships. And what happens when idiots like this go in and think they’re entitled to touch one of the animals? It can ruin and put in jeopardy the zookeepers who have to interact with these animals every day for feeding and cleaning and maintenance and medication administration. And if these animals lose – I’m sorry. If these animals lose their trust in people, guess who pays the price?! The zookeepers who give their entire lives to actually looking after these animals. Don’t touch animals in exhibits. They are not yours to touch. Imma talk her down, you just walk away. Don’t touch the animals, just walk away. I just don’t understand why people have to do it! – Hush.
– There are signs! In multiple languages! – Shhh.
– Everywhere. [singing calmly] Let’s go back to dogs, because I like dogs because I’m getting a dog and his name’s Kiba and he’s the cutest animal ever and we’ve decided to stan forevermore. But this is not Kiba, because I wouldn’t do this to my dog. This is called “Little Baby and Dog Stealing Food From the Refrigerator.” Sounds cute. 1.2 million views. Let’s go. – Oh, it’s a basset hound.
– The basset hound is now… …aiding the stealing of food from the refrigerator, by becoming… an accomplice via stepladder. – That’s a rough spot to be standing on.
– That’s a terrible spot. That dog just moved off. It did not want to be there. Now, with basset hounds, they are not, sadly, the healthiest of breeds. They get a lot of strain on their hips, a lot of strain on their elbows and their knees, – they get a lot of dysplasia.
– Spinal issues. They get a lot of spinal issues as well. Sorry, I just, like, coughed in your direction. – You’re already sick, though, so it doesn’t matter.
– Yeah, it’s all good. And to put that much strain, even though it’s not a big deal for us to have to pick up a child like this, if that child were to stand on your neck, you would feel it. And that dog will certainly feel it. These sort of videos bother me. Children interacting with animals irresponsibly bothers me because it’s not necessarily the child’s fault, but there’s a human! An adult! A responsible adult who is responsible for these two lives filming it, – thinking it’s hilarious.
– And a lot of times, these videos are bordering on the verge of something catastrophic happening – Mhm.
– between the child and the dog, because the child obviously usually goes beyond some boundaries. So, in this instance, there are two things, as a parent, that I saw that were really bad even from a parental perspective is number one, having the child step on the dog in a potentially sensitive area where the dog would undoubtedly just retaliate, right? If you hurt a dog, usually they whimper and they snap. So that could’ve been one. And two, we saw the dog walk off at the end with the kid still on his back. I mean, that child could’ve been hurt. He could’ve fallen, he could’ve cracked his head open on the floor. So to be a parent and sit there and watch this, giggling, from far away, playing out in front of you, it just makes no sense. But it also tells me that that human – that parent, sorry – has no regard for their dog. – Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
– Very, very little. That they value a cute clip over the happiness of their dog. And the fact that this is going on and it seems like it’s happened before makes me worry, because the fact that the person is there ready, – I think this has happened a couple of times,
– Sure. so it’s a repeated – I can’t verify it, but it looks like a repeated motion. And this person is teaching their child that it’s okay to stand on an animal. If that child tries to stand or interact with the wrong dog, it can be disastrous. You know how many – sorry. You know how many videos I’ve seen of children interacting with a pit bull and, like, putting the pit bull’s ear in its mouth, – Those make me cringe so hard.
– And you can see the dog, like, whale-eyeing, which is what happens when a dog is freaking out. I’ll see if I can get a good whale-eye insertion here, so you can understand. And they’ll be licking their lips, doing a lot of this. That’s the moment of avoidance before they snap. And any dog can snap. I don’t care how good any dog is. Any dog, if you push it far enough, will snap. Don’t give them the opportunity. I’m gonna say that this dog was obviously a well-adjusted dog and he was very patient. So kudos to the dog, who was very patient, because when he had enough, he just walked away. And that’s best-case scenario, really. It is. It’s the best-case scenario. It’s a testament to the basset hound breed. They’re often very, very laidback and very, very cute. But there’s still no reason to step, or allow a child to step on its neck. – So, not cute, thumbs down, two thumbs down.
– Three. – Three thumbs down.
– Keep your kids off dogs. Why not four? Put four. Because you broke this one so many times I can’t bend it that way. – Why did you tell them that?
– You’ve done it, like, ten times. – Not on purpose!
– She broke it on camera the fourth time. Not on purpose. How many times have I broken your thumb now? – Three.
– I’m sorry. – Yeah. Look at it. It’s decrepit..
– [laughs] It’s a special thumb! But that’s my thoughts on these particular videos. You can obviously have different opinions. You can write in the comment box below. Have I overreacted to anything? Is there anything that you didn’t think was particularly bad? Anything you actually would condone? Or do you have the same opinions? Leave a comment down below and let me know. – Danny, any final thoughts?
– Don’t overfeed your pets and don’t slap your hippos. That’s about it. – Don’t shave your huskies.
– Don’t shave your huskies. What did you guys think of today’s video? Do you want to have a similar video? Is there a video that you would like us to actually look at and review or to give our opinions on? Leave a comment down below and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button as well. Thank you, Danny, for giving me your wonderful insight as well. I love having you on my channel. And I love that you guys tuned in, so thank you guys all very much – and I will see you in another video soon. Bye!
– Bye. Psst! Don’t forget to subscribe.