Monday, March 1, 2010

My First Encounter at Crab Cannibalism :'(

I''ve been really busy and tired for the past 2 days (February 27-28), because of my bazaar at the Rockwell Tent. This was to be my first bazaar of the year. Usually I'd spend about 15 hours at a bazaar --- this includes the setting-up and manning of the booth. This of course does not include travel time and packing up. It's enough to drive a man crazy, I tell ya. And the heat is brutal -- currently we are at 33-34 degrees outside! Gasp.

So imagine how tired I was as I'd get home from this craziness at around 1:30 AM. The only thing I can do the moment I got home was to freshen up, greet my dogs and hermies and drift off to dreamland. I couldn't do much really. However, I'd still try to get enough sleep and wake up early and "refreshed" the next day.

But that's not to say I don't love what I do. I LOVE bazaars! But sometimes it can get too busy and too hectic you really don't have time to do anything else. But I'm digressing, read on to know more about this fateful day...

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I woke up today at 9:30 AM. My body ached and I was still so sleepy. If it wasn't for Micki (my Shih Tzu) who woke me up by jumping on the bed and on me several times, I would be asleep until 11:00 AM. The first thing I did, as usual was to check the crabitat.

Hmm...everything seems okay at first glance --- until I started counting. One, two, three, four.....WHY IS THAT SHELL EMPTY?!?!?!? The shell belonged to one of my [unnamed] hermies who just transferred a few days ago. I thought, Max must've been going around bullying the crabs again (because that what he does sometimes, he'd steal shells here and there)! I thought of digging into the substrate to check if all 9 crabs were complete. Until I saw Gigantor, who is normally scared of me, standing by the corner of the terrarium. He was staring at me with his dark, round eyes. He was not budging.

I lifted him and --- gaaaah! He was munching on one of my crabs!!!! *weep*

I tried to grasp the idea that for the very first time, I now have a DEAD crab *sigh* It was so hard to me to face facts. I take very good care of my pets and everytime a pet dies, I feel a part of me has died as well.

The [unnamed] crab molted very recently as his limbs were very soft and its color was very pale (see pic above). The crabs have been fed properly a few days before my bazaar -- but apparently the smell of fresh molt was too strong for them to resist, and they eventually ate one of their kind.

I can't help but feel partly responsible for the early demise of my crab. Maybe if I fed the crabs more food, they wouldn't have entertained their cannibalistic instincts. Or maybe if I thoroughly checked the crabitat before I retired for the night, I would've discovered that it had molted and would have transferred it to the ISO tank right away. I could've saved it from its cannnibalistic neighbors.

The dead crab, FYI, did not show any signs that he was about to molt (much like Georgey). If I had known it was in pre-molt stage I would've transferred it to the ISO tank right away. The cannibalism could have been prevented.

It saddens me that the tiny crab had to endure being eating belly first, which I think was such a painful way of dying.

Seeing as I couldn't do anything else and the dead crab was full of protein, I just let the other crabs continue eating. After a few minutes I had to flush it down the toilet along with its exoskeleton.

I feel so sad.... Rest in peace my little hermie :'(

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