Why are exotic pets often abandoned?

- The Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn takes in hundreds of red-eared slider turtles every year. One is Balloo. His owners neglected to keep him in a proper cage with the right lighting and now he is worse off for it. His shell is badly deformed.

When it comes to exotic animals as pets, inadequate research is a common theme. Exotic animals require special care.

Late last month hundreds of neglected animals including turtles and birds were seized from a Long Island home and required medical treatment.

Sean Casey says that often people like the idea of something different like a turtles, snake, rabbit or lizard but don't fully understand what taking care of them entails.

An even bigger problem emerges when people decide to release their exotic pets into the wild or urban wild like a local park, explains Rebecca Benner, the director of science for the Nature Conservancy of New York. She says these animals often do not have the ability to survive in nature. Plus the animals can disrupt existing ecosystems.

The bottom line on exotics is that they can work out for the right people in the right situations but you need to do your research before you bring the animal home.

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