I wasn’t aware that A. There were a lot of people here with a taste for exotic pets, and B. There were a lot of dicks here who abandon their exotic pets when they get too expensive, but apparently the Shanghai Zoo is running out of space to deal with them. Specifically, it’s being overrun by red-eared turtles and estaurine crocodiles (which you’ll remember caused quite a scare last year).
From Shanghai Daily:
The zoo now is caring for close to 80 red-eared turtles and doesn’t have the space for any more, said Wu Weichun, director of the zoo’s amphibian department.
“Almost all of them were abandoned somewhere in the city,” Wu said. “We have to adjust the environment, such as temperature and relative humidity, to control their reproduction.”
The zoo once received more than a dozen estuarine crocodiles. It had intended to establish a crocodile aid center, but most of the reptiles died last winter due to the cold weather.
Other pets sent to the zoo include green iguanas, snakes and other lizards. The latest green iguana arrived last month, when one was found in Jiading District.
Not only are they a pain in the butt for the Shanghai Zoo though, they are also possibly dangerous to the native ecology: some of these things breed quite wildly, leaving the possibility of us being overrun with red-eared turtles the way Australia was overrun with cane toads.
Unfortunately, besides education campaigns on how to properly get rid of your pets, there doesn’t seem to be much anyone can legally do about this. With space running out, I wonder if we’ll soon be seeing crocodile casserole and turtle soup on Shanghai Zoo’s menus.