Routinely abandoned

On the fate of exotic pets.

“The red-eared sliders we commonly see in local waterways like Trout Lake in Vancouver and Garry Point Park in Richmond are generations and generations of abandoned pets,” says Sara Dubois, manager of wildlife services for the BC SPCA.

Dubois says red-eared sliders are just one of dozens of species of exotic animals that are routinely abandoned by their guardians after getting too big, too old, too sick or too demanding to merit captive care.

Released into the environment en masse, red-eared sliders grow to the size of dinner plates and can live for decades. They disrupt local ecosystems and force out native amphibian and turtle populations, including the endangered Western painted turtle.

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