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N. Sivasothi,
a.k.a. Otterman,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Sun 15 May 2005

Abandon me not

Category : animalwelfare

The practie of the release of captive (domestic or wild) animals into our natur reservs might seem a generous gesture at the outset, but upon closer examination, is a generally harmful practise to both animal and ecosystem. Thus over the past decade or so, this has led to individuals and organisations speaking out against it.

Perhaps the practise is better described as animal abandonment rather than release.

Mr Budak blogs against the release of captive animals into the wild.

"...domestic breeds of species such as hamsters, mice, goldfish and rabbits lack the instincts and means to find food for themselves, and will quickly succumb to exposure, starvation, parasites or predators without the care and protection of human handlers. Sadly, those who discover the remains of such pets are usually not the same individuals who abandoned the animals.

The local nature reserves are also not suitable habitats for many released species. Munias, a small bird, are often sold for release, but these birds thrive only in open grasslands, not the thick jungles of the central reserves. Without their preferred habitat and food source, the birds will eventually starve. The National Parks Board estimates that about 90% of animals released into the wild simply die within a day."

NSS has produced a brochure - download or view "Releasing of Animals - Good or Bad?" which explains the damage that is caused locally and elsewhere as a result of local animal release.

An exhibition on impact of releasing animals in the nature reserves is being held at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, until 6th June, 2005.

NSS has an Animal Release Initiative 2005 (see WildSingapore.com) - and they need help this year. Read about their efforts to reduce animal abandonment last year.

Posted at 12:06AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news