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This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

How many times have you had a goldfish, they died an untimely death, and then you flushed it down the toilet? I can think of at least a dozen times I did this as a child. It was a great way for a child to learn about life and death, plus it makes for easy clean up for the parents. Goldfish are pretty inexpensive to purchase, and also a very low maintenance animal. But what happens when that goldfish isn’t quite dead, and it manages to find its way to the closest pond or lake? In some towns, goldfish are actually causing a lot of havoc for their eco-systems. This has been happening in the United States, France, and Switzerland, just to name a few. There have been a few fisherman across the world that have been able to reel these goldfish in, and they are growing into giant goldfish. You might want to think twice before flushing your ‘dead’ goldfish down the toilet or dumping them into a lake.

Considering these may have started off as itty bitty goldfish, I’m not so sure I’d want to eat one of these. Right now, Washington state is fighting off an invasion! The culprit? Goldfish. Yup, you heard right.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

Thousands of goldfish have infested the West Medical Lake and are crowding out the native fish population. The Department of Fish and Wildlife thinks a few irresponsible pet owners are to blame. And while the goldfish may have cost the owners a few dollars, this mess is going to run cost the state an estimated $150,000 to try to remove these feral fish.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

If you think you’re doing the goldfish a favor by releasing it or flushing it down the toilet, you’re not! Instead, you’re setting the stage for an ecological disaster, which could threaten hundreds of other species. Turns out, goldfish are one of the world’s worst invasive species.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

It has become a real problem.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

They may look small and cute in your home, but in the wild, it’s a different story. Given enough time and resources, these little orange monsters will grow into giants.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

Or even worse when you consider they may have come from someone’s toilet!

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

These big fish are also big eaters. Feeding on plants, insects, crustaceans, and other fish. But they’re not just consuming what other fish rely on to survive, they’re voracious feeding time actually kicks up mud and sediment which can lead to harmful algae blooms that choke the ecosystem.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

That’s a good size fish.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

There are similar accounts of goldfish invasions in Epping Forest, London, Alberta, Canada, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In fact, invasive fish species accounted for over half of the total fish population in Lake Tahoe Basin.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

I bet this doesn’t happen every day at the veterinary office.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

They get massive.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

Goldfish are also smarter than you might think.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

They are not supposed to be in our lakes.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

Goldfish have a memory span of at least 3 months.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

They also can tell the difference between Stravinsky and Bach.

This Is Why You Should Never Release Your Pet Goldfish Into The Wild Or Flush Them Down The Toilet

This is a little bit scary considering how goldfish apparently adapt to the world around them. So what’s the best way to get rid of a deceased goldfish? First off, make sure it’s really dead. Then remove it from the tank. You can dig a small hole in the ground that’s big enough for the fish, cover it back up with dirt, then put a rock on top of the shallow grave. This will make sure animals don’t try to dig it up.

So, consider the wildlife, and think twice before tossing that goldfish away. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

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