Dumping Goldfish Into a Lake is Not Good For Anyone

Most people have heard tales of albino alligators living in the sewers of New York. The story goes that a long time ago, alligators were popular pets, or possibly a few people bought tiny gators after being told they were small lizards. Surprised by the size, the New Yorkers either flushed them down the drain or dumped them in the sewers. While almost certainly and urban legend, the moral of the story is the same. Invasive species that start out as pets can cause a great deal of damage.

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights just how big of a problem this has become. For example Australia has over 20 million feral cats, which are not native to Australia and were brought over by European settlers. They have no natural predators and are a threat to many of the native species, including 124 threatened and endangered species.

Fish are another invasive species that has been known to cause huge problems. Asian Carp, originally brought in to help control algae in fish farms are making their way into the Great Lakes. Not only do the destroy the native vegetation and animal life, but have been known to jump up and knock boaters out of the water.

And of of course there are the aforementioned Goldfish. With few natural predators, they can grow as large as four lbs when released in the wild, taking over and disturbing the populations of native species.

Because of the negative effect that domesticated animals can have on the ecosystem, its important to remember not to release a domesticated plant or animal into the wild. Instead, be mindful when choosing pets and ensure that you can care for them in the long term.

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