Exotic animals

Exotic animals imported as pets, or for animal collections and zoos, occasionally escape or are deliberately released. Some soon die out but others may not only survive but also cause a major impact on the existing biota, as do exotic plants (see Section 5.6). A number of large cats including leopards and panthers have been set free in the UK; so far there do not seem to have been any human tragedies as a result. Four centuries after being hunted to extinction the wild boar flourishes again in Sussex, and also in Kent, where it occurs along with the marsh frog which is much larger than our native common frog. The alien edible dormouse Glis glis (see Section 4.5.1) still flourishes in the Chilterns of southern England, a few animals having been released in 1902 in Tring Park, Hertfordshire, by the first Lord Rothschild, who also introduced the eastern grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis.

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