Spread the word that exotic animals don’t make good pets!
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Mwanza flat-headed rock agama (a beautiful and colorful species of lizard) looks set to become the latest victim in a long line of crazes for exotic pets, simply because its coloration resembles the costume of the superhero Spiderman.
If time has taught us anything it is that such fads for animals result in vast numbers of animals ill-suited to captivity being bred or caught from the wild, only to end up dying, suffering in poor conditions or being released into the wild to perish or to take up residence as an invasive species. One need only look at the problems with the huge numbers of red-eared terrapins in the pet trade, and the appalling conditions in which many are kept, resulting from the short-lived Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze some years ago.
Furthermore, many wild animals such as reptiles commonly carry disease organisms that can cause serious illness or death in humans.
Wild animals deserve appreciation in their own right and in their own environment, rather than to be caught and kept captive on the basis of an unfortunate resemblance to a fictional character. So, remember the superhero code: exotic pets – bad for them, bad for you, bad for the environment.
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