America rocks! We have created the airplane, Xbox, automobile, internet
and a whole bunch of other awesome goodies for everyone around the world
to enjoy. Unfortunately, the rest of the world also has to deal with
our invasive species too…
We don’t really know how American lobsters made their way to European waters around 1999, but Maine’s tastiest crustaceans brought diseases with them that end up killing or deforming the shells of native lobster species, making the surviving lobsters difficult to sell on the market. Who wants to eat wonky lobsters?
Eastern Gray Squirrels
The United Kingdom brought over our common gray squirrels in the early 19th century as exotic pets for the wealthy, but their population exploded when they were carelessly released into the wild. The gray squirrel’s food-snatching adaptability and inclination to carry a squirrel pox has devastated the native red squirrel population.
Raccoons have been imported across Europe and Japan for fur farming and as pets, but the intelligent scavengers have made infrequent escapes over the years. These nasty creatures often carry roundworms and rabies, raid trash bins and wreak havoc on the local ecology. Heck, even Americans don’t like raccoons!
We can’t help it if non-Americans like eating frog legs so much! Populations of invasive bullfrogs have popped up in South America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean after the hardy amphibians reestablished themselves in the wild after escaping from frog farms. Supposedly, they really do taste like chicken…
Like the raccoon, American minks ended up running wild in Argentina, Scotland, Chile and Britain after escaping from fur farms. Their ability to thrive has overwhelmed the native European mink species, which are currently critically endangered.
Hey, rest-of-the-world! We know that our American animals are really great, but unless you take like, one or two for a zoo or something, just leave them over here. If this keeps up, I’ll have stories about bald eagles in New Zealand and American alligators in France before you know it!