Wildlife Officials Offer Pet Amnesty

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Wildlife officials are giving pet owners in Fort Myers a chance to surrender their nonnative animals -- free of charge and without penalties.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission teamed up with the Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area for Saturday's Exotic Pet Amnesty Day. The event is taking place at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.

Wildlife officials say the goal is to reduce the number of nonnative species being released into the wild by pet owners who can no longer -- or no longer want to -- care for the invasive pets.

It's illegal to release any animal not native to Florida. FWC says more than 500 nonnative species have been found in the wild and more than 130 have reproducing populations.

AP-WF-03-02-13 1449GMT

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