TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Easter time means a cute baby animal could be nestled inside those Easter baskets. But, the Fish and Wildlife Commission has a warning out for people thinking about giving baby ducks as a present.
The cute, cuddly, and fluff baby mallard ducks seem like a great Easter present. But Jamie Feddersen of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says not so fast. “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 Florida Mottled duck. Up to 25% of the Mottle duck population could be hybrids with Mallards. The species would be in 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.
Reporter: “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 four legged critters. “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.
Bunnies can’t be returned long after they’ve been purchased because they most likely won’t get along with the new group of animals in the store. The FWC recommends you visit their website, my F-W-C dot com, for more information on giving ducks as gifts.