Know what you’re getting with an exotic pet
We should add one very important consideration missing in the feature article regarding unique pets [from the July 22 edition of The Daniel Island News]. We need to be careful glamorizing exotic pets. Carelessly acquiring and handling an exotic pet can gravely lead to invasive species that completely alter local environmental health and well-being.
As examples, the non-native and extremely aggressive Burmese pythons are destroying the Everglades ecosystem, Argentinian Tegu lizards are proliferating in South Carolina, and feral hogs are wreaking havoc across the continental U.S.
In your article, the veterinarian recommends, “Get a post-purchase consultation after obtaining the pet for proper health and habitat advice.” What’s missing there is forethought. The recommendation should be: Gain as much knowledge as you can about the pet before you buy or get it, ensure it is non-invasive; this includes how to
return that pet if you are unable to care for it properly instead of simply releasing it.”
I would greatly appreciate more experts weighing in on this. Be careful selecting pets and enjoy your time with them. You can get a start on informing yourself at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources link, dnr.sc.gov/marine/sertc/invasive.htm.
Thanks for reading.