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Summer holidays, carefree and rest time Unfortunately during this period the owners of pets, who they looked after them all year, often say that their pets may more or less disturb in holiday plans. Owners can't stand thought, that they put beloved animal to sleep, so they try to invent better idea - turn back them freedom!

Few people realize that releasing animals into the wild is not a good idea. It can be downright disastrous idea! Some animals can not survive the winter, some of them die of hunger or under the wheels of cars, but there are those that adopt well to our conditions and they threaten our native species. Most people are familiar with cases of abandoned dogs tied to trees or tousled-dirty cats, who be in exile. You have to know about the fact that abandoned dogs joining a packs and they not afraid man and can be truly dangerous , or cats who whining under our windows and uncontrolled  multiply in our basements. What to do with a fish? The turtles? The gecko?

Free Willy

We're going on vacation! But what about our goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) swimming in a sphere aquarium? We don't have good relations with the neighbors, so they will not feed our Nemo. Friends and family went on trip. Chin up! We'll give Nemofreedom, we will take him back to the wild! Some people fall into the idea of ​​draining your fish in the toilet (after all, it is the general opinion that wastewater go straight to the river or lake or sea). Our toilets are usually equipped with a high-fresheners with is chemistry, chemistry and chemistry again (with chlorine bleaches will not mention). Fish dying in torment even before we drain the toilet well. Another barbarism is the release freshwaters fish in the sea, but the fish kept in backyard ponds after being released into rivers or lakes may adapt to the new conditions. If they are predators, our native herbivore species can provide them great food base. And even as they start to multiply, we have a ready-made ecological disaster.

Turtle tiny as a coin

A few years ago there was a fashion for semi-aquatic turtles. The shops were full of sweet tiny turtles selling for a pittance. At the moment, if we want to breed red-cheeks turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) we need the consent of the director of environmental protection. It is good.

Mass release turtles became widespread, because many people don’t know that the tiny "little cap" grows 25-30cm monster and it contaminates water in the aquarium (often aquarium is too small for them). It is proved that this little turtle released in the specific place can do a lot of damage. And most importantly – it is a competition for our native pond turtle (Emys orbicularis). The tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii) acclimatized in our country too, people often breed this turtle like a dog (without a terrarium, no heating, no special lamps), and turtle is walking alone around home or lawn, which often slip away.

Do you really want to have foreign, invasive species basking on a sunken tree branches instead of our national turtle for few years?

Something there is hissing, something there is purring

A snake can hiss. At the moment, having a cat or dog is not a feat. A lot of people are choosing more exotic pets such a snakes. They are available in several species, ranging from relatively small and colorful “cereal snakes” (Pantherophis guttatus) ending on boa (Boa constrictor) reaching up to 3 or 4 feet long. You can release that big snake in nature, but I personally would like to never meet it. Snakes are thermophilic animals and low temperatures hurts them, so the chance of survival of winter for them are weak (but maybe in some hot boiler with Mr. Smith? ... Hmmm ..). It should be remembered, however, that these animals are predators. They can hunt and they will be doing this, because that's its nature. Someone may said "I don’t care about mouse or rats”. Nothing should be disregard. Every pet has its place in the trophic chain and inclusion of competition for them certainly will not help.

Beetle noise in reed

At the end I mention about various invertebrates (spiders, crickets, cockroaches), which is often due to the excellent climate, an equally good reproductive possibilities, and they crawling wherever they want to. Do you want to breed these animals? All right! But do not let them into the wild. When I’m lying on the grass and counting the clouds I would like to be bitten by our, native bugs. What about you?

Also released birds can be a serious problem. Parrots destroy crops, they eat seeds from feeders, competing with other birds of breeding sites, carry the bacteria that threaten breeding birds for food

Many animals which escaped from farms or they were intentionally released by the owners find their home in nature. No one knows how exotic animals will behave in new environments. Animals that are not deliberately input to our ecosystems are a threat to native biodiversity. They may be a problem for humans by destroying equipment, crops, landscaping .. These animals will be included in the natural trophic system and the structure of ecosystems, they will bring new parasites, compete with native species  and they can interbreed with close species.

Do not let free your animals. Be an aware owner.

But, we have hard time, many people are struggling with new jobs, witch often entails a change of address, or multiday absence. Our few days absence is not a tragedy (everyone want go on vacation, huh?). We can always turn to family or friends and ask what about care of our pet for a few days. If you do not have such a possibility, you should find a hotel for animals – there is quite a lot similar organization. Even pet shops often accept take care of pets for few days. Another thing is when you need to give back your pet forever (for example – you have to moving abroad). Try give our animal to your friends or family. It will be easier for you to look after our pet, even through Skype – you will can check that everything is alright. Best thing you can do - give your pet to people who ... are already have other animals. These people often have a big heart and your pet may has better start. If it didn’t work out, try find an adopt organization – they will try to find a new home for your pet. But remember - you always should check new condition for your pet and a conversation with new owners didn’t hurt.

Joanna Merta-Krawczyk

Trained as a environmental biologist and forensic biologist. With interests - bushcraftman and great fan of survival. Personally and professionally - a happy wife and zoologist with a passion. From time to time clumsy and forgetful, but generally positive about the life, person who spends every spare moment in the woods or reading a book. In the evenings and at night listening to metal music while sipping strong alcohols and biting fat food.


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