Chilliwack’s Reptile Room owner urges people to leave wild animals in the wild – Revelstoke Review

If you’ve ever seen a turtle or a rabbit in the wild and thought, “That must be a lost pet.” I’m going to save him’, Amber Quiring thanks you for being a kind and caring person.

But please don’t.

The owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room said there were far too many people bringing animals to them that should be left where they are.

“The most common, by far, are red-eared sliders (turtles),” Amber Quiring said. “Because they’re so abundant in our area, people find one in a parking lot or in their yard and bring it to us because they think it’s someone’s pet.”

The alligator lizards are another that Quiring often sees.

“They are found everywhere, up the Chilliwack Mountain and down the Fraser and Vedder Rivers,” she said. “People who think they’re helping catch these lizards, they bring them inside and they come here asking me what they need to feed them.

“They see an alligator lizard in the fall and they wonder why it just sits there doing nothing. Well, almost all reptiles are ectothermic, which means they move slowly in colder temperatures. So this lizard is relaxing right there because it’s relaxing, getting ready to hibernate.

The third is rabbits. Wild rabbits are everywhere in Chilliwack.

“People see a bunch of little baby bunnies running around their yard, and they pick them up thinking they’re saving them,” Quiring said. “But what usually happens is that these rabbits have just left the nest for the first time and no one knew there was a nest there. We probably get about 10-12 litters each season.

Once a baby rabbit is removed from its home, its chances of survival decrease significantly. Even if he is brought back where he came from, he will not be welcome.

“If we touch them, most of the time their mother won’t want to take care of them anymore because she feels the threat on them,” Quiring said. “She will ignore them and they will prosper or die.”

Bringing a wild animal into a home with existing pets can also be a bad idea, especially with lizards.

“In their natural habitat, they have a natural immunity to things like E. coli and anything they would pick up from rocks and streams,” Quiring said. “You bring this animal into your house and you touch it and you bring your bearded dragon to see if they can be friends. Well now you’ve just introduced E. coli or something else into the immune system of your bearded dragon and he has no immunity to bad bacteria and stuff like that.

“It may take you too long to notice that something is wrong and that animal may die.”

That said, Quiring has a very simple rule for deciding whether to “save” an animal.

“Animals you find in the wild should be left in the wild unless they are very clearly someone’s pet.

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