From the archive: the alarming rise in exotic pets, September 1965 | Pets

The Observer Journal of 19 September 1965 (‘Is the pet enterprise getting out of hand?’) mirrored worries in regards to the surge in unique pets from Africa, Asia and South America. In 1952, 80 overseas animals arrived at London Airport each month; in 1965 the typical was 8,000.

‘They’re the prosperous society’s new pampered status symbols’ and are ‘changing into extra flamboyant yearly’ wrote a horrified Charles Bloomberg. ‘Individuals are even putting in personal zoos of their backyards.’

There was nothing new about pets, in fact, however what was new was the fad for ‘bizarre, grotesque and outlandish home pets’. Almost 1,000,000 of those pets ranged from ‘gorillas to large water dragons, boa constrictors to bush infants, tigers to terrapins, monkeys to mynah birds’ and – barely ruining the alliteration – ‘iguanas to eagles’.

The India mynah fowl topped the recognition listing of novel pets – they have been ‘the poor man’s parrot’ stated one seller. ‘He talks like one for a 3rd of the value.’

Rex Stacey, 43, spoke about his love of snakes and his pet python. He even managed to maintain a sequence of pet snakes throughout his conflict service in India and Italy. ‘Hyderabad was fantastic,’ he stated. ‘It was crawling with snakes.’ He admitted that he felt lonely with no snake. ‘As soon as I didn’t have a snake for 2 weeks, and couldn’t sleep.’

Bloomberg requested a psychologist why individuals hold pets in any respect, an perception into how our attitudes have shifted. ‘Society arouses a battle between our pleasant and aggressive emotions by forcing us to compete with our fellow-men. However a pet is a subordinate object. Pets wouldn’t have unkempt Beatles-style haircuts, or stagger residence drunk within the early hours. In the event that they do you’ll be able to all the time give them away or have them put down.’

Simply don’t speak about something like than in entrance of a mynah fowl.

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