Zoo Miami Hosts Exotic Pet Amnesty Day

Mar 4, 2015

The communications director of Zoo Miami, Ron Magill, doing his best cockatoo impression while holding a non-inhibitive Burmese python.
Credit Lisann Ramos

This coming Saturday, March 7, is Exotic Pet Amnesty Day at Zoo Miami. There you can give up your exotic pet for adoption or adopt one if you have the proper permits.

On that day, owners turn their exotic pets over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The goal is to provide owners with a place to send their pets once they can no longer take care of them.

Ashley Taylor is the exotic pet amnesty coordinator with the commission.  

“At the previous Pet Amnesty Day at West Palm Beach Zoo, we had someone whose health was declining severely, and they actually surrendered a kinkajou and fennec fox,” said Taylor. “These pets were very important to him, and one of his last wishes was that he just wanted to make sure that these animals went to a good home to somebody who could take care of them.”

The FWC also wants to prevent owners from taking matters into their own hands and releasing animals into the wild. Jorge Pino is a public information officer for the commission.

“South Florida is known for its vast ecosystem. And the last thing that we want is for somebody to introduce an invasive species that will cause harm,” said Pino.

People can turn in their exotic pets on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., registered adopters can visit the zoo to adopt the pets.

If exotics species owners can’t make it out on Saturday, there’s also a reporting hotline they can call at 188-468-4831.