Recently, the number of cases of rare exotic creatures being discovered among rescued wild animals is increasing. Last August, one black kingsnake was found each at the Gangnam Express Bus Terminal in Seoul and in a villa-dense레고토토 area in Gwangjin-gu. It is a rare species that does not live in Korea.
As the pet market has recently grown, the demand for rare pets is also increasing. However, as the number of cases of rare species being abandoned without being raised to the end is increasing, concerns about ecosystem disturbance are growing.
On the 2nd, Representative Lim Ja, a member of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee, received data from the Ministry of Environment and announced that the number of animals rescued from the wild over the past six years has doubled to 101,195. Six years ago, in 2017, 9,830 animals were rescued in one year, but the number of rescues gradually increased, with 20,161 animals rescued last year alone, and 12,821 animals rescued as of August this year.
The number of rescued animal species has also increased significantly. The number of animal species rescued in 2017 was 259, but last year the number increased to 317, an increase of 22%. The number of cases of discovery of invasive species has also increased, reaching 20 species that were first identified in Korea’s natural environment in the past 5 years. There are 11 species of insects, 4 species of reptiles, and 1 species each of arachnids, fish, mammals, gastropods, and crayfish. These alien organisms were mainly found in residential parks and apartment complexes.
In addition to the black kingsnake discovered in the city this year, rare species such as the striped California kingsnake last year, the bearded dragon and Sudanese plate lizard in 2021, and the savannah monitor lizard in 2020 appear every year.
Rep. Lim Ja said, “There is a concern that curiosity about raising rare species may lead to threats to the domestic ecosystem,” and added, “We need to prepare countermeasures by strengthening crackdowns and sanctions on illegal abandonment and conducting research on the ecological impact of exotic species.”