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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Tilting Animals Ok? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

rbokor
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Abracadabra Magic
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Can small animals such as rabbits, doves, kittens etc be trained to be inside a box that will be tilted without scaring them or getting motion sickness?

I need to place a small animal in a box which is a jumbo die box, so it will get tilted back and forth as I perform the die box sucker effect.

If the answer is yes, what methods might work to get them used to the back and forth motion which will be done for about 30 seconds 3 or 4 times over about 2-3 minutes? (The usual die box back and forth)

Have you actually testing these methods?

Thanks for your help.
Robert Bokor
President
Abracadabra Magic
www.abra4magic.com
Eric Buss
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There is a difference between actual harm, and perceived harm. Could the animal be tilted back and forth? Probably. Will it be ok? Probably... but the audience will not want to see an animal go into, or come out of a box that (in the audience's mind) was "shaken" back and forth. I don't recommend it for the animal's sake, or for yours as a performer.
Bob Johnston
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Inner circle
Philadelphia, PA
1251 Posts

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Everything Eric Buss says is true, with one exception.

Some animals are not “designed” to be oriented in up-side-down position. The rabbit is the one I am most familiar with.

If even just the head of a rabbit is inverted it puts them into a catatonic shock. Not only is this cruel, but it can cause damage to the rabbit if it last for more than a few moments. This was done for years by people sowing their friends how they could “hypnotize” a rabbit.

It is worth pointing out that some care givers and veterinarians utilize this “flaw” to stabilize a rabbit for some short procedures and examinations.

The rabbit is an animal designed to be upright and ready to run.

Bob
Autumn Morning Star
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I am sure your audience would find this sort of production disturbing. Best not use an animal in this way. Plus, if the animal gets their fingers, tail, or toes caught between the shell and the box, you could accidentally pinch them and make the animal bleed or cry out. If you sever a toenail, you would not believe the bleeding that occurs! That is when you would find PETA camped on your lawn the next day...
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
rbokor
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Abracadabra Magic
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I just wanted to add some clarification to my question based on the responses I've seen:

1. The box is only tilted slightly - at approx 90 degrees, just for the die box sliding effect. And it's done slowly.

2. The box has been designed to hold the animal comfortably. It's padded with felt, and the die is held elsewhere. There is nothing else in the box to slide into the animal.

3. The box is never turned "upside down" or at any angle other than 90 degrees (1/4 of a circle)

Based upon this, are there performers here who use rabbits, kittens etc who could provide feedback if with gentle & loving training if this would be likely to be workable or definitely difficult to train an animal like this to be comfortable.

I presume a treat would be provided after each training session, so that the animal associates this with a reward.
Robert Bokor
President
Abracadabra Magic
www.abra4magic.com
tdowell2007
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Springfield, IL
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Rbokor,
The problem I see here is not YOUR treatment of your animals. It is obvious from your posts that you are very concerned (why else would you pose the question?), but the problem is the perception of your audience. Consider this, show someone a card trick and 99% of the time, what they could repeat back would be so impossible that we as magicians only wish we could accomplish it! Perception is reality..... I realize you are trying hard to be original with an effect and I applaude that. But, at what cost to your magic career? An audience will accept a card being abused (torn, burned, etc), money crunmpled, etc. But performing with animals is an area where you must exercise extreme care in the perception of mistreatment. Not that you would ever harm your animals, but the audience must not walk away with the idea that you MIGHT have harmed an animal during the copurse of an effect. Of course, this is just my opinion and I wish you the best of luck!
Tony
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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I have to follow suit.
Come up with another idea...
It will be worth it to you in the long run.
I would never put my rabbit in a situation like that.
A mouse or rat might be doable in this situation but not birds or rabbits.
Daniel Faith
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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This sounds like a lot of unsettling motion in the dark. I don't think I would use livestock in that one.

Sorry!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Loual4
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Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

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Rbokor, the turning of the box to a 90 degree angle is a big turn, no matter how gentle you are doing it. You mention that the box is designed to hold the animal comfortably, and that is good. But the main problem is the fact that at some point, your rabbit (or any annimal you care to subsitute...) will be litterally standing on its head. And he will be in motion too. That is not good for the annimal. At least that is my opinion.

Personnaly, I would not be comfortable with putting my rabbits in this situation.

Good luck!

Louis Jutras
rhinomax
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I agree I would move on to a new idea. repeated practice and performance of this type will be harmfull to any animal
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
Chrystal
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Canada/France
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Hi,

I'm afraid I would be in agreement with the others regarding using a live animal in this type of performance. Viewing Rhinomax's last post and his avatar pic..why not use a puppet? Could be highly entertaining. :O)

Chrystal
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