Wildlife group shares image of 14in goldfish in warning not to flush pets

The huge fish was found in the Niagara River.

Fish owners are being warned not to flush their pets down the toilet because of the problems they can cause native habitats.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW), an organisation that works to protect waterways and lakes around western New York, posted an image on Facebook of a 14-inch goldfish found in the Niagara River.

“Goldfish can survive year-round in our watershed and can destroy the habitat of native fish,” the post read. “Scientists estimate that tens of millions of goldfish now live in the Great Lakes.”

This is why you should never flush your fish! This 14-inch goldfish was caught in the Niagara River, just downstream of…

Posted by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper on Friday, June 14, 2019

While BNW could not be sure exactly how the fish got into the river, they said it was most likely either deposited directly into the water by a pet owner or flushed down a nearby toilet.

The image highlights the problem of flushing fish down the toilet as many cities in the Great Lakes area have sewage systems that flow directly into local waterways.

A spokesman for BNW said: “The story ended well for this fish, but not for our water. Aquatic invasive species that don’t naturally belong in the Great Lakes, like this goldfish, are a constant threat to the health of native wildlife populations and their habitats.

“Large and small, hundreds of different invasive species continue to disrupt and cause damage to our Great Lakes.”

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