Pets You Should NEVER Release In The Wild!

Pets You Should NEVER Release In The Wild!


From Giant Goldfish to cute chameleons, here
are 10 pets you should never release into the wild… 10. Green Iguanas Iguanas are a popular pet for collectors of
exotic animals because of how cute they look and supposedly they are easy to take care
of. Unfortunately the idea that they are simple
to look after was likely spread by those who sell them, because they actually need a strict
environment and diet to survive. They can also be difficult to tame and handle,
especially when they are fully grown, and this has led to a large number being released
into the wild. They are naturally from central and south
America, and thrive in warm environments. This has meant that those released in similar
climates, such as those found in parts of California, Florida and Hawaii, have thrived
and begun to breed. This has been detrimental to the local ecosystems
where they compete with native species for food, and will prey on species that haven’t
adapted to deal with these kind of threats. As a result, Iguanas are illegal to own in
Hawaii because of the potential devastation and havoc they can cause on the islands. In Florida, the populations of feral iguanas
have caused extensive damage to vegetation and local wildlife, so if you do decide to
get one please be a responsible owner and don’t release them into the wild!. 9. Cuban Tree Frog These cute frogs are a favorite of exotic
species collectors, but the Cuban Tree Frog is causing serious issues across Florida. They are quite difficult to identify among
other frog species, something that is made even more difficult by the way that they can
change color. They are originally native to Cuba, the Bahamas,
and the Cayman Islands, and are thought to have been first introduced to Florida in the
1920’s. It’s the recent popularity of keeping them
as pets, though, that has led to an explosion in their numbers in the wild as a result of
collectors releasing them. Cuban Tree Frogs are an aggressive species
that feed on at least five different species of native Floridian frogs, as well lizards,
small snakes and tadpoles. They are also able to survive in urban areas,
and will take over birdhouses, ponds and birdbaths where they lay their eggs. They have been responsible for massive changes
in the ecosystem, and have even been known to affect humans by causing power outages?? They are a danger to environments where they
aren’t native, and so must not be released under any circumstances. 8. Rabbits Rabbits are another incredibly popular pet
for owners around the world, but when they are released into non-native environments
they can cause serious damage. The best example of this is in Australia where
they were released for hunting in 1859. Only 24 were set free, but by 1920 there were
an estimated 10 billion across the country. There have been numerous attempts to curb
the population growth, but with their speed of breeding, ability to feed on most vegetation,
and overall resilience, rabbits still roam Australia in huge numbers and pose a threat
to many of the natural species like the bilby and burrowing bettong by taking over their
burrows. 7. Goldfish/Carp They may seem harmless enough, and are a popular
pet for adults and children alike around the world, but releasing your pet fish into the
wild can have disastrous consequences for your local environment. Nowhere has this effect been seen more clearly
than in Australia where the problem has gotten out of hand. Notorious for their strict rules on bio-containment,
it’s why Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got in trouble for allegedly sneaking in their
dogs. The Australians have good reason for being
that way. In 2016 researchers from the Murdoch University
in Perth caught goldfish that weighed up to 2kg and were up to 30 centimeters long. These large animals are thought to have descended
from a small variety that were being kept as pets and released into the wild a few years
before. By feeding on more food and disrupting the
ecosystems, these fish can spread and cause significant damage by killing off all the
native species. Goldfish the size of dinner plates have also
been found in Alberta, Canada, and have led to fines of $100,000 dollars to those that
release non-native species into the wild. Angler Raphael Biagini captured a legendary
“giant goldfish” out of a lake in the south of France. Fellow fishermen had spent 6 years trying
to capture this orange koi carp weighing 30lbs. The only way this fish ended up in the lake,
was because someone was trying to get rid of it. 6. Red Eared Slider Turtle The red eared slider turtle is the most common
species of pet turtle in the United States. It’s native to the southern US and Northern
Mexico, but as a non-native species in other areas it has caused havoc in waterways across
the country as a result of owners releasing them into the wild. The International Union for Conservation of
Nature has designated this species as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species. There are two reasons for this, first because
of the diseases they carry, and second because of their temperament. The turtles can carry salmonella bacteria,
which is potentially dangerous to humans and other species in the wild, and their aggressive
behavior means that they either kill or scare off other turtles from the environment so
they can take over. This has been happening in the state of Washington,
for example, where the numbers of pacific pond turtles have been significantly declining. As the most popular turtle to be kept as a
pet, red eared sliders are released in large quantities every year by owners who aren’t
able to take care of them as they get bigger or just get bored. This is the species that provided the basis
for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who were all red eared sliders that had been set free
into the New York sewers. 5. Chameleons Chameleons are beautiful and unusual, cute
creatures, so it comes as no surprise that they are a popular choice for a pet. What’s not to love? They aren’t suitable for beginner owners,
though, and many people end up regretting getting them. They have very specific living and dietary
requirements, and are not really happy being petted or handled really. A lot of people don’t know what they are
getting themselves into, or why their chameleon doesn’t love them back, so a lot of people
just let them go fend for themselves. Depending on where they live, like other animals,
they can prove to be really dangerous for the local wildlife. Veiled Chameleons have proved to be a particular
problem in Hawaii and Florida (here we go again!). They originally come from Saudi Arabia and
Yemen, so fit in well with the climate, and the humidity doesn’t seem to bother them
at all! They easily blend in with the background so
they have become a highly invasive species. They are also able to adapt their diet and
habitat depending on what becomes available, and lay up to 270 eggs per year so rapidly
increase in numbers. The Floridian veiled chameleons that have
descended from released pets are spreading across the state into the everglades and causing
serious issues. This has led to the introduction of amnesty
days where residents can hand in their unwanted pets, but in Hawaii it is totally illegal
to own one, with perpetrators risking fines of up to $200,000. 4. Hermit Crabs Hermit Crabs are often seen for sale on beach
boardwalks with painted shells to attract customers, but keeping them as pets is extremely
unfair to the creatures. In the wild they can live for up to 30 years,
but in captivity they rarely survive more than a year because of the chemicals they
have been painted with, and lack of proper food being fed to them. They struggle to breathe in a tank and, being
such sociable animals, the fact they are often kept alone makes their existence pretty miserable. With this said, you shouldn’t release your
captive crabs into the wild either. They would be very unlikely to survive because
they live in very particular environments and would have very little chance of meeting
up with a colony that they would need to survive. There’s also the chance that the crab you
have will carry bacteria and infections from the tank or area that they were captured;
something the local wildlife near you may not be able to deal with. There’s a strong possibility that releasing
a hermit crab into the wild could cause widespread illness to the entire ecosystem. The best solution, avoid getting a hermit
crab! 3. Giant African Land Snails Giant African Land Snails are a delicacy in
parts of Africa, but are actually illegal in the United States because of how destructive
they can be to the natural environment. They are first thought to have been brought
to the country as pets in 1966 when a young boy brought three to Miami. His grandmother released them into their garden
when they became unable to care for them, and within seven years the population had
risen to over 18,000. It took the state of Florida over 10 years
to get rid of them, at a cost of over a million dollars. Even so, they are still around are every now
and then there is a snail outbreak. They are already a prevalent pest across Hawaii
and the Caribbean, and authorities frequently are called in to deal with outbreaks. 67 live snails were confiscated by customs
officials in LA in 2014 alone. The reason they are so terrible is because
of their destructive nature. They breed fast and have a huge appetite. Each one weighs more than a pound and can
grow up to 8 inches long. They happily eat over 500 different types
of agricultural crops, and also carry a nasty parasite called rat lungworm that has been
known to transmit meningitis to people and pets. They can lay up to 1,200 eggs per year, and
they have no natural predators to control their numbers. Besides the stucco homes, especially in Florida,
actually helps them to get calcium to harden their shells and be even tougher! While it is possible to eradicate the snails
once they have spread, it’s a costly endeavor. Preventing their release is a far better option,
and the continued efforts will hopefully keep this pest from taking over the world! 2. Red Lionfish They are truly unique fish, and were even
featured in Captain Picard’s aquarium in Star Trek, but the Fish and Wildlife service
has seen the Red Lionfish as a threat to saltwater fish around Florida since the 1980’s. They originate from the Indo-Pacific region,
but are now found across the Caribbean and eastern coast of the United States. It’s thought this spread first began because
of the accidental release of six fish in 1992, and subsequently numerous aquarium enthusiasts
who can’t look after them anymore decide to let them go in the ocean. These fish are carnivores, so happily feed
on small crustaceans and fish in their new environment. They have large appetites, and will consume
dozens of creatures in one feeding; drastically reducing numbers of other species. Part of their resilience is due to the fact
that they have venomous spines, which also makes them dangerous to humans and mean they
have no natural predators. Every new Lionfish that is released into a
marine environment adds to this problem, so it’s vital that if you have a Lionfish you
no longer want to try to find a new owner to adopt it. Setting it free just unleashes a whole chain
of events you may not even realize. 1. Snakes The release of pet snakes into the wild has
become a major problem across the United States. With people’s increasing interest in keeping
exotic, non-native species, the effects of irresponsible owners releasing them in the
wid is clear to see, especially across the Florida everglades. When you first get a snake it can be pretty
easy to look after, but they soon grow much larger and can prove to be very difficult
for owners. Quite often they’ll feel like they are doing
their pet a favor by releasing it, instead of keeping it cooped up in a bathtub or something. But they are actually putting their pet in
danger as well as the natural species that already live there. Scientists are concerned about the prevalence
of 9 different species across the U.S. that put over 150 other species at risk. Southern Florida, for example, is being overrun
by tens of thousands of Burmese Pythons that eat virtually all birds and mammals in the
area. They are even able to attack humans, but luckily
these events are very rare. The warm climate of Florida means that the
Burmese Pythons have been able to establish breeding populations in the wild, and so have
boa constrictors and African Pythons. Once they have taken hold, there’s very
little that can be done to remove them, so it’s vital that people stop releasing them
in the first place if we want the native species to have a chance at survival. Have any crazy stories of finding former pets
in the wild? Let us know in the comments below! Remember to subscribe and see you next time!

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