Don’t Let Them Go!

Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus)

Okay guys and dolls, it’s time to wrap your minds around a bit of a concept that can seem like a good idea at the time, but can later have very negative effects.  No, I’m not talking about dating your second cousin, I’m talking about what to do with your unwanted pets.  So many people get something little and cute and it seems great at the time, but then it keeps growing, or gets to be alot of work or expensive or they just plain get tired of it.  And they decide to get rid of it.  There’s a number of venues that people will utilize to relocate their unwanted pets.  Some find them good new homes, some try to return them to the store or sell them.  But for the purposes of this post, we’re going to concentrate on a common and very not good route that a good number of people take.  They let their animals go.  Out the back door, into the woods, at a pond or whatever.  They think a return to the wild is a humane or beneficial thing to do, but they are very sadly mistaken.

 

 

There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea.  The first is of course a cruelty issue.  Sad to say, but the great majority of released pets will die upon their return to the wild.  Either picked off by predators, hit by cars, or simply starving to death.  It may be quick or it may be a long slow process, but most pets who have been captive bred haven’t the faintest clue how to survive on their own in the wild, and even wild caught ones are going to have a difficult time in a new environment, with new food and un-ideal conditions.  When animals are used to free food, care and shelter living and fending for themselves in the wild is almost always too much.

Most people get Red Eared Sliders as adorable hatchlings... but then they grow...

 

 

Red Eared Sliders are one of the most commonly released unwanted pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other option is that the animal doesn’t die, and is somehow dumped into an environment that is actually suitable for it.  It may actually be able to find food, shelter and possibly even thrive.  The problem with this is that if there are others of it’s kind, it will mate and begin to colonize this new area and the chance is there for it to create a bit of an ecological disaster.  It could be destroying the habitat around it, pose a threat to plants or crops in the area, or even start taking over and pushing out the native wildlife.  There are a number of pet species that have found their release sites to be preferential to even where they might have lived in the wild since there are less to no predators, plentiful food and simply a very conducive environment.  A few of these outcompete the natives and slowly take over the new habitat, through breeding or even hybridization.  Some are so large and aggressive, that they pose a real threat to all other animals and even people.  So in this case, they have moved from being abandoned & doomed pets to being Invasive Species.  More on that in part two of this post…

Snakeheads are one of the most adaptable and dangerous species to ever introduce into an aquatic environment

 

Snakeheads are NOT good to kiss!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So tune in next time Bat-fans! Same Mikey time, Same Mikey channel!  And I’ll talk more about some of the dumped pets that have turned into Invasive Species.  Like Sliders, pythons and Monitors, oh my!  Exotic tropical fish, birds and possibly even heffalumps and woozles…who are VERY confuseled… 🙂  See you next time my friends!

1 response to Don’t Let Them Go!

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    Libby says:

    Great post as usual–and btw, are y’all allowed to share about the snakes the Durham police asked you to babysit for them?

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