It hasn’t been long since the smile of axolotls conquered the internet. The exotic salamander, who always seems to smile, has become a famous pet thanks to the influence of TikTok and the appearance of the species in the game. Minecraft.
But what seemed like just a small trend turned into chaos. Thousands of axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are being returned or abandoned, after the owners are unable to cope with the animals’ reproduction speed and the peculiarities they require in their care.
According to the Guardian newspaper, just one shelter in New Zealand has around 2,000 amphibians delivered of the species to care for — 600 of them in a week.
The reason is intriguing: the animals are difficult to castrate or even to have the sex identified. As a result, many owners put breeding pairs together in an aquarium, and the result is a large batch of eggs.
but not Minecraft he is much appreciated and seems simple to care for, as you can see below.
“They can produce a large number of eggs. This situation can get out of control very quickly,” Alison Vaughan, a science expert at the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty, in Portuguese), said in an interview with the newspaper.
Oddly, axolotls are considered critically endangered, but they are probably the most popular amphibian species in the world, and they inhabit the aquariums of many owners.
But success as a pet keeps them threatened, as genetic diversity drops dramatically and makes them susceptible to dangerous diseases.
Despite the popularity, caring for the animal isn’t exactly simple. They require specific tanks, special food and a suitable temperature. And they also live a long time: they can live up to 25 years.
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