AZGFD: Letting your pets go free in the wild can be disastrous

May 25, 2020, 4:05 AM | Updated: 8:03 pm
(Pexels/Gabriel P)...
(Pexels/Gabriel P)
(Pexels/Gabriel P)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is warning people not to let their exotic animals loose in the wild.

Introduced pets, including goldfish and tropical fish, can have devastating effects on native wildlife and ecosystems, the AZGFD said in a press release Wednesday.

Not only could nonnative fish outcompete with native species for food and space, exotic pets could also prey on native fish and have a negative impact on native and sport fish populations.

Given time to acclimate, a goldfish can lose its bright color and grow up to five pounds, looking more like a crappie than an aquarium fish.

It’s not just tropical fish, either, as turtles, lizards and other exotic pets have made their way into the Arizona ecosystem.

If anyone comes across a nonnative species, the AZGFD asks individuals to take a photo and mark the location found and report it to the Aquatic Invasive Species Program at 623-236-7608.

If it’s a species found listed on Director’s Order 1, such as a snakehead or Asian carp, the AZGFD asks those in possession to place the fish on so it can be collected for testing.

The department urges those looking to get rid of their exotic pets to contact their local animal shelter.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo, File)...

Arizona man sentenced to 11 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter

An Arizona man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after previously pleading guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...
Associated Press

Tucson police officer fired after fatal shooting of shoplifting suspect in a wheelchair

A Tucson police officer has been fired after he was accused of fatally shooting a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair, authorities said Tuesday.
23 hours ago
(Audit pool file photo)...
Associated Press

Judge: Arizona Senate can’t claim legislative privilege to avoid election audit records release

The Arizona Senate can't claim legislative privilege to avoid releasing a wide variety of records from the review of the 2020 vote count conducted on behalf of Republican leaders, a judge ruled Tuesday.
23 hours ago
Palo Verde Generating Station (Maricopa County photo)...
Associated Press

Emergency sirens to be tested at nuclear generating station west of Phoenix

Emergency sirens designed to alert nearby residents of a problem at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station about 50 miles west of Phoenix will be tested on Wednesday.
23 hours ago
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)...

Arizona, 11 other states granted injunction in suit over vaccine mandate for health care workers

Arizona and 11 other states were granted a nationwide injunction Tuesday in a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for certain health care workers.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...

2 dead, 1 in critical condition after shooting at west Phoenix residence

Two people died and one person was taken to the hospital in critical condition after a shooting Tuesday at a west Phoenix residence, authorities said. 
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
AZGFD: Letting your pets go free in the wild can be disastrous