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 Buying an Exotic Pet

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Join date : 2013-04-25

PostSubject: Buying an Exotic Pet   Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:15 am

Overhunting animals for fun can affect not only the animals themselves, but also their habitats. Exotic animals such as rhinos are hunted for their purported medicinal benefits. Elephants are hunted for their ivory. Crocodiles are hunted for their skin, which is turned into expensive leather products.

But even owning an exotic pet can seriously affect the environment, not only because it takes animals out of their natural ecosystems, but also because it encourages humans to go into a particular area frequently to catch those animals. This human interaction can affect the soil, cause animals to migrate and reduce wildlife populations. And then there's the risk of introducing new species into the ecosystem. Unfortunately, many pet owners are not aware of how difficult it is to care for an exotic animal. Once the animal outgrows its cuteness or becomes hard to handle, its owners might release it into the wild. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, more than 250 new species have appeared in Florida within the last 200 years [source: Iguana Invasion]. Of those, most started as single pets that were released into the wild. This includes the red-eared slider turtle, the spectacled caiman, cane toads, and non-native fish and snails. These species either prey on local animals, reducing their populations, or cause changes in the environment and the wildlife in the area. Talk about it!
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