• Last Update 2023-01-28 23:52:00

Releasing exotic pets can create serious environmental issues, says founder of the Customs BPU


Releasing exotic pets can create serious environmental issues, the founder of the Customs’ Biodiversity Protection Unit (BPU) Samantha Gunasekara said

He pointed out the exotic birds and animals which are used to live in cages and are from foreign countries are unable to survive in the local environment as they can die of starvation, inability to adapt as well as predation.

If the birds and animals manage to however survive they can quickly become an invasive species and threaten local endemic species.

Mr  Gunasekara explained that asiatic rose ringed parakeets have become an invasive species in Europe after few of them were released.

He added that the Florida everglades too have problems with large invasive Burmese pythons, Green iguanas and green anoles as people set their exotic pets free.

“Captive animals released to the wild can spread disease, harbor foreign disease and wipe out entire species of local species”, he

He added releasing captive raised animals is a cruel action as the animals which are not used to living in the wild fall victim to predation.

 “Even native animals do not welcome other birds to established flocks therefore the birds caught from another area being introduced to another would be chased away by their own kind”, he said .

 He requested the public to avoid getting caught by crafty merchants who try to earn money by endangering the life of a bird

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