The best way to help prevent new introductions of exotic species into Florida is to be a responsible pet owner. Many pets are deceptively small at the time of purchase, and people may not be prepared to care for them when they grow to their full adult size. Often people move and feel that taking their pet with them is too much of a hassle or they become bored with their pets. It may seem kind to release a pet into the wild, thus setting it free, but this can be detrimental to the animal and the environment.
Pet owners may not realize that a released pet will more than likely die without care from its owner. But not all will die, and those that survive have the potential to become invasive, meaning they can take over habitats and displace native fish and wildlife species.
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