Dozens of exotic pets surrendered during amnesty event

FWC collects everything from turtles to pythons


MELBOURNE, Fla. – Dozens of unwanted exotic pets were collected Saturday in Brevard County.

It was all part of Exotic Pet Amnesty Day. The event, held at Wickham Park, was considered a big success by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The commission collected everything from turtles and ferrets to a 14-foot python.

Amnesty Day was designed as a way for owners who could no longer care for their animals to give them up, no questions asked.

A few of the animals that were turned in were illegal to own, such as native turtles and snakes. Others required permits.

Liz Barraco, a spokesperson for the FWC, said having events like this are important. They give owners an option other than releasing them into the wild.

"We do have populations of non-native animals established in the state of Florida, and you know these were really started by a released or escaped non-native species," said Barraco. "The environment is not prepared for that animal, they're not prepared for it as a prey species or to have it in the area."

All the animals were seen by veterinarians and will be given up for adoption to per-approved families.

If you missed the event but would still like to surrender an unwanted exotic pet, you're asked to call the FWC hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1.

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