Why you should never release exotic pets into the wild
Releasing exotic animals into the wild is cruel and dangerous—for the pet and for native animals.
On June 10th, the Massachusetts Environmental Police received a strange call. “We got a call to our dispatch from someone who claimed there was a three-foot lizard in their backyard in Chicopee, Massachusetts," recalls Massachusetts Environmental Police Lt. Tara Carlow.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found a disgruntled homeowner and a fully-grown Argentine tegu. Also called black-and-white tegus, these exotic lizards can reach over four feet in length and are native to rainforests and savannas across South America. Still, Carlow wasn’t surprised one turned up in Chicopee.
“We get these types of calls at least once a year,” she says.
In the state of Massachusetts, Argentine tegus are widely sold, and citizens do not need a permit to own one. Tegus