By Gary Bogue
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007 at 9:33 am in Exotic wildlife.
The Lily Pond in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has a problem. African clawed frogs. If something isn’t done about this exotic and prohibited species before they escape from the Lily Pond and become established somewhere else (in lakes and streams elsewhere in the state), Northern California will have a BIG problem. These frogs eat everything, and they have no natural predators. They are a major environmental threat.
The clawed frogs were probably initially dumped in the Lily Pond by someone who had obtained them illegally as aquarium pets, or by researchers who have used them in their studies. The population has been rapidly growing and expanding ever since.
Eric Mills, coordinator of Action For Animals in Oakland, has been working with others for nearly four years to get the pond drained and have the frogs euthanized before they get loose and wreak havoc on our state ecosystem.
The frogs have already eaten other life forms in the Lily Pond and are now cannibalizing each other. These frogs also carry a type of fungus that is suspected as the cause of the extinction of more than 170 frog species around the world.
The frogs should have been humanely destroyed when they were first discovered, but state and local politics being what they are, it has taken all this time (meetings, committees, etc.) to reach a point where the Lily Pond is finally getting close to being drained.
But now there’s suddenly a new problem.
An animal protection organization called In Defense of Animals, from San Rafael, has issued an Action Alert on its Web site asking people to “Stop Frog Extermination in Golden Gate Park.”
I just received an e-mail from Eric Mills explaining what he thought of this mess.
“State law requires that these exotic frogs be euthanized, sadly. I truly hate the idea, but it’s necessary to protect the environment and our native wildlife. Here’s another example of humans creating a problem, then punishing the victim. But corrective action must be taken.
“It is illegal to move these frogs. The pond WILL be drained, the frogs will be euthanized, it’s only a matter of time. That being the case, it’s incumbent upon us animal protectionists to see that it’s done as humanely as possible. That should be In Defense of Animals’ role, rather than attempting to derail the entire process.
“They’ve even proposed setting up the Lily Pond as a permanent ‘study exhibit.’ Ain’t gonna happen!
“These proposals (by In Defense of Animals) are unrealistic and unworkable.”
Eric is right.
It’s time to get realistic, not hysterical.
In Defense of Animals also needs to get real.