News Releases

Exotic Pet Amnesty Day set for March 12 at Zoo Miami

News Release

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Media contact: Carol Lyn Parrish, 850-556-2269; Lisa Thompson, 727-896-8626

Photos available on FWC’s Flickr site. Go to:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Zoo Miami are holding an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day on March 12 at the zoo. The goal of the event is to reduce the number of nonnative species being released into the wild by inviting the public to surrender any exotic animals they have been keeping as pets and can no longer care for – no penalties and no questions asked.

This free event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the zoo at 12400 SW 152 St. in Miami. Admission to the zoo is not included and is not required to attend the event. Live animals will be on display and experts will be on hand with information about caring for exotic pets, responsible pet ownership and potential ecological impacts of invasive species in Florida.  

Surrendered exotic pets will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and checked by a veterinarian before being made available for adoption that same day to pre-registered, experienced individuals who are capable of caring for them. Animals that will be accepted for surrender include reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates. Domestic animals, such as cats or dogs, will not be accepted.

Animals will be made available for adoption after 2 p.m. Exotic pet adopters need to be experienced and must have already applied and been approved by the FWC. Potential adopters should bring their acceptance letters with them. Becoming an adopter is free, but people are required to register a minimum of four days prior to the event to adopt an animal. Adopter applications can be found at

The Exotic Pet Amnesty program is an effort to reduce and prevent the release of nonnative animals in Florida. Exotic Pet Amnesty events are held around the state throughout the year.

For additional information about Exotic Pet Amnesty Day, visit or call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681). Exotic pet owners who cannot attend this event can call this number for assistance in finding a new home for their animal.

For more information about adopting exotic pets, visit and click on “Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.”

For more information about Zoo Miami, visit

FWC Facts:
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