(Close Window)
Topic: What about other animals?
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Jul 24, 2004 11:39PM)
Can you train ravens, crows or vultures with the same techniques that you train doves?(I like bizarre magic). also, can a young chimpanzee be trained to take part in a card trick? can they be tought to shuffle or deal? with their dextrous fingers could they do "rays rise"? Is it feasible to teach a chimp how to deal seconds? Will they sit still enough to pick a card and show it to the audience?
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 25, 2004 10:36AM)
(I'll take your question seriously (though I have my doubts...:) )

With the birds, different techiniques but can be done.
You have a larger brain and high curiosity level with the Ravens and Crows and decidely a huge quantum jump
in energy! I had a gigantic African Raven who used to fly around the apt. His wing span was nearly wall to wall! (small apt.) and while he would come to the arm that was about it...never could calm him down enough to stay perched but he was magnificent. I never used him in an act though as I had planned because I moved to Alaska and they wouldn't allow his species 'in' the state. Which is the 2nd point...state regulations for certain types of animals. Vultures can be considered amongst those needing special permits. Also you are dealing with a different 'hard wiring' in the brain which makes them difficult to 'use'...they do what they do...which brings up the 3rd point...these birds don't just 'do'...they really DO...as meat eaters, their poop is not nose friendly and is BIG. Also Ravens and the larger tree dwelling species can Launch it straight out like a shot.

So while you can take a Dove right out of the store/breeder whatever and put it right into the act...not so with these other breeds.

The..actually THE man to talk to if we could ever get him to post here about it is Oregonian Magician Stan Kramien...he knows more about training various species for shows than anybody on the Planet.

My idea btw for the act I never got to do was "Man Eating Doves" It would go as a normal Dove act except they would have names as they were presented like "Savage" and "The Predator" etc. And I would be wearing protective gloves! hahaha...After a few nice sweet litttle doves were presented magically, I would head out toward the audience and produce from large silks The VULTURE with a gigantic wing span in all it's huge scary glory!

This was back in the early 60's and I had figured out a way to do the steal on the big bird. (I later saw it done with a Poodle! They hadn't stole the idea though...it was just one of those coincidence things...anyway..I couldn't get the Vulture...after moving to SF to do another act, I found the Raven...but it didn't work out.

If you're serious about exotic birds these days your in for a big beaureucratic (sp?) nightmare...unless you do this act for a certified Zoo or Animal Park. Get ahold of Stan Kramien in that circumstance.

AS to the Chimps...friendly advise...DON'T GO THERE!

See you at the Zoo.

Oh...use Doves..there's a reason everybody does.
But even with these wonderful gentle birds you will need a dedication to keep them correctly...they are not just magic toys.

Message: Posted by: Zack Schaff (Jul 25, 2004 05:17PM)
You can find out what permits you would need my contacting the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) but, I am a wildlife rehabilitation intern at a Michigan Nature Center and from what I have found it's next to impossible to receive a permit to keep a wild bird.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 25, 2004 08:39PM)
Over the years we have done magic with everything from goats to lobsters. Currently we have a live unicorn (actually a registered Quarter Horse with blue eyes) in training for next year. We started using a horse in April 2002.

We have never used a vulture in magic but Lucy had one in the Dominican Republic that was trained and rode in her Jeep. (I know that doesn’t say much for the condition of her Jeep. But fortunately she had a horse and a donkey too.) Nobody ever tried to steal the Jeep!

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 26, 2004 10:03AM)
Bob...the Unicorn is a beautiful idea...please post the pictures when you have them.

In the old days even as late as the mid 60's, (maybe later) exotic animals and birds were readilly available.

What was the name of that big Pet Shop in NYC? Shoot...brain cells are disappearing...they had Lions...Chimps...Monkeys...Tigers...Vultures and other Raptors...Giant Ant Eaters...I remember one huge Toucan I was enamored with but it was big bucks even then.

I bought the big African Raven (larger than American Ravens with White Under Feathers that showed in flight. Gorgeous bird.) at a Pet Shop in SF...I remember they had Lesser Ant Eaters...Skunks...Monkeys...all kinds of off the wall critters.

Things sure were different then.
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Jul 27, 2004 02:55AM)
There is a circus act called Krezola JR who uses doves, chickens, cats, dogs, rats, parrots, kakktus, ravens, a fox, ducks and a voulture in the same act. He also make a second act with liberty chinese springducks. So I would say that you can train about any animal to be part of your act but please takr care of them and realy try to get them decent livingquaters the bigger they are the more work it is.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Aug 1, 2004 11:39AM)
I read somewhere that vultures have no anus and eliminate waste through regurgitation (whole new image for potty-mouth!) I also heard that because of this they stink to high heaven.

Guinea pigs make great productions. Like doves they don't mind being in enclosed spaces and when you sit them somewhere they generally stay there.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 1, 2004 12:10PM)
"The Turkey Vulture has somehow acquired a false reputation for vomiting. Actually, the Turkey Vulture very seldom regurgitates. However, if it is cornered by a person who gets too close and is threatening, the vulture may roll over and play dead, or it may project vomit in a defensive manner and this has an offensive odor. Skunks are similar in this defensive maneuver."



"We have received many reports about the intelligence of the Turkey Vulture. One lady wrote us that she has built a small wooden tower-like feeder in her back yard and puts out food for her friends each day. One day she noticed that after eating their breakfast, the vultures had gone down to the lawn in her yard and six of them were in a circle around a soccer-size ball left on the lawn by her grandchildren. The vultures were hitting the ball back and forth to each other by butting it with their head and beak. Each day thereafter they played this game. And although there were four balls of different colors, they always picked the orange one.
When a Turkey Vulture is injured and taken into rehab he will become emotionally attached to his handler and follow him around and watch him, much like a pet dog. They love to bring an object to a person and then play tug-of-war.
An experienced caretaker at a nature park in Florida wrote that she worked with a Turkey Vulture which had lost a wing and a toe. She said that in two months she taught the vulture more than she had been able to teach a red-tailed hawk in eight months. This person contacted a caretaker at another park in Florida and learned that she had exactly the same experience in training vultures and hawks. She wrote, "We both find the vultures to be gentle, inquisitive, and very intelligent."

It was the Turkey Vulture I was trying to get for the act...I wish I had succeded!