Exotic Pets

This week I chose to write about exotic pets and the problems that have been occurring is some areas such as Florida. The different types of exotic pets people choose to buy have always made me question their sanity, which is because lots of the problems animals are those that grow to lengths of 4 feet or more. While looking into the problem several news stories popped up about lately the Argentinian Tegu Lizard has been causing quite a problem (Lawrence 2014). These particular lizards grow up to 4 feet long and eat pretty much such as plants, eggs, small mammals, small reptiles, and birds. Having such a wide dietary assortment puts pressures on local wildlife numbers (Nolen 2012).

Lizards aren’t the only major problem another good example is the Burmese Python which started appearing in the late 70’s and then have increased year by year where populations are estimated to be in the tens or hundreds of thousands (Nolen 2012). The problems with pythons again are they eat pretty much anything including alligators which put nothing but unnecessary stress on the environment as well as being able to rapidly reproduce which is why populations have gotten so high in a short time. But recent studies have indicated that the decrease in the small mammals have a correlation with increased invasive animals (Nolen 2012).

What is currently being done is an attempt in trapping the animals and then euthanizing them in a humane manner. But a major problem that comes with the management of invasive species is the amount of money put aside in the governments but to deal with it. Jenkins (2013) found that the amount of money set for invasive animal’s research was far less than required in order to gain control of the situations which is why populations of some animals are still increasing whereas newer animals being released are now getting the chance to establish in the environment.

So not only is the money not there but the government has debated the regulation of animals in Florida, but the black market is always there. The lizard and python are only a couple examples of the problems in Florida there are many more those two I just picked. The problem is not with people buying the exotic pets, it is the fact that they buy them when they are small and they grow a lot bigger then they realized and no longer fit in the aquarium, or cost more to feed than first thought. There should be a better way of getting rid of unwanted exotic pets, or maybe even increasing their purchase price cause after looking online it’s amazing how cheap these animals are to buy upfront.

Word Count: 453

Nolen, S. R. 2012. How Big is Florida’s Python Problem. Journal of American Vetrinary Medical Association. 240(7):778-782

Jenkins, P. T. 2013. Invasive animals and wildlife pathogens in the United States: the economic case for more risk assessments and regulations. Biological Invasions. 15(2):243-248.

Site with Pictures and Prices of Exotic Animals to Buy

Lawrence, D. 2014. Large Invasive Lizard Taking Over Parts of Florida. USA Today.




14 thoughts on “Exotic Pets

  1. I wonder if it might be more effective to get have regulations in place that don’t allow people to own exotic pets, instead of having a place where they can go when the owners no longer want them

  2. I’ve never understood why someone would want to own a python. I mean they are cool looking and all. But I really feel as if people just don’t have the skills they need to fully care for and look after these amazing creatures!

  3. Exotic pets is such a tricky issue since you’re right there will always be a black market. Also the lack of funding to deal with them properly is crappy… seems like they could avoid spending money in future on recovery programs for the species these invasives are putting pressures on if they just spend the money now!

  4. People are so stupid and don’t do their research. Why would you buy a lizard that is going to get 4 feet long and think you can just keep it in your house like a dog? Then instead of just giving it to a zoo or other educational centre (at least do something helpful with it) they just set it free. Crazy, crazy people.

  5. There’s a reptile sanctuary in Vancouver that takes unwanted alligators and such, kind of like an SPCA for reptiles, and they’re completely over run! It really bothers me when people get pets, cats and dogs included, when they are not prepared to look after them.

  6. If the skins from the invasive snakes that were euthanized, were used to make items. Then money could be raised to spend on invasive animal research.

  7. Keeping exotic pets is so stupid. I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a sloth, but then you have to think of that poor animal and their natural life. And then it’s like oh it had babies, I’ll just throw them out my window since I don’t want them.

  8. I agree with Katie. I wish people could not own exotic pets. It seems ridiculous to put up a sanctuary or something that takes pets that people no longer want. It would encourage people to keep pets until the novelty of them runs out. Pet stores should educate their customers about the biological parameters that are needed for these pets (which I am sure they do already or at least I hope) to PREVENT this from happening.

  9. It’s not even fair to the public for some careless person to release a pet that could be potentially harmful.

  10. I agree with the regulations regarding owning exotic pets, sometimes I think there should be some on owning common pets like dogs and cats too.
    In 2007 (I think) a lady was mauled to death by a tiger near 100 Mile House…how does someone have a tiger in 100 Mile house?!?! So messed up

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