Sunday, January 29, 2012

Auspicious Pets

The mythical dragon may not be real but in this Dragon Year, animals “related” to it are enjoying great popularity among pet lovers – they are deemed to be auspicious animals, bringing luck to their owners!

The most common “relations” will be the reptiles such as the Chinese water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus), the bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) and other related species.

Another is the dragon fish or the Asian arowana (genus Scleropages).– already a popular aquarium fish that has seen the “gold”-colored ones being completely sold out in the pet market in China by the time Lunar New Year visited us. A Sunday Star (January 29, 2012, DOTS, p 11) report that I read talked about a silver arowana about 20 cm long being sold for around 100 yuan (RM50), while a golden fish about the same size commanded about 4,000 yuan (RM2,000).

The dragon prawn has also joined the aquarium, as a pet rather than food. The prawns are about 3 cm to 4 cm long, come in red, blue or white, and sell for 15 yuan (RM7.50) each. [This is not to be confused with lobsters, which in Mandarin Chinese is "Long-xia" which translates as “dragon prawn”]. Despite my best efforts, I cannot find out more about these sea animals.

And the chinchilla, a rodent known as the “dragon cat” in Mandarin (“long mao”) is in demand too. A news report I checked, i.e. Jakarta Globe – put their price tag at between 700 and 3,000 Singapore dollars each.

So, don’t be surprised if there are people who do go out and get any one of the above as pets – just so they have luck!

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