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Problems from buying animals as gifts for Easter

If you're considering buying a bunny, chick or duckling for a child this Easter, you might want to think again.

Many of the pets bought at Easter time wind up in shelters or released into the wild once the novelty of owning the animals wears off.

That can cause problems for the native eco-system.
The cute, cuddly, and fluff baby mallard ducks seem like a great Easter present. But the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says not so fast.

Jamie Feddersen/FWC Waterfowl Management
"These ducks they're cute when they're little but they do grow up, they do get bigger, they get loud, they get messy, and people get tired of them and let them go."

The FWC says that's a problem for the animal and environment. Mallard's breed with the native ducks. That could mean trouble if the trend continues.

"We could literally breed the native Florida Mottle duck out of existence."
Baby ducks aren't the only popular animals this time of year.

"Easter time means?
Carol Hoover
"Bunny season!"

Pet store owner Carol Hoover says bunnies are a big seller around Easter, too.  But the same problems with ducks happen with RABBITS.

Carol Hoover/Carol's Critters Pet Store Owner
"We definitely don't like people just to get them because it's Easter and they don't want them after the fact."

Releasing a bunny into the wild could have severe consequences for an animal used to living in a cage.

"It's definitely no good for the animal. They will probably die. They're not used to being out on their own."

Hoover recommends seriously thinking it over before purchasing any animal. For those still interested in buying a mallard, it is illegal to buy or sell one without a special permit.

The FWC recommends you visit their website, myfwc.com, for more information.