Animals dumped when summer comes

Sweden’s zoos and wildlife parks have been inundated this summer with unwanted pets found abandoned in woods, flower beds and subway trains.

Skansen Aquarium in Stockholm has already taken in three boa constrictors, an iguana and twenty turtles that have been dumped by their owners.

“Turtles are cute when they’re as small as five kronor coins but when they grow up they’re thrown out,” zookeeper Jonas Wahlström told news agency TT.

Turtles have been left to fend for themselves this summer at hamburger joints and on the Stockholm metro system.

Skansen Aquarium generally approaches wildlife parks around the country to see if they can offer new homes for the reptiles, some of which are occasionally able to help out.

But most parks are keen to keep the pets at bay. Kolmården Wildlife Park and Nordens Ark have become accustomed to receiving phone calls from owners who have tired of their pets but neither of the parks is in a position to take in the strays and castaways.

“Our park is for endangered species. Any infection brought in can pose a threat to the animals,” said Tom Svensson, press spokesman for Nordens Ark.

Any rejected animals seeking a safe haven in Gothenburg are also barking up the wrong tree, with the Maritime Museum and Universeum both operating a strict no pets policy.

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