Target: Bethany Jones, USDA Deputy Administrator of Legislative and Public Affairs
Goal: Ban companies from selling African clawed frogs as children’s science experiments.
African clawed frogs have been sold for decades as a science experiment. They arrive as tadpoles for children to watch as they become frogs. The problem with this is that the frogs still need care long after the experiment is finished. They can live up to 20 years in captivity, and will require much larger tanks than the ones that came with them. The kits usually have a small plastic tank that will hold less than one gallon of water, yet it’s recommended to house these frogs in at least a 10-gallon aquarium. The frogs are very skittish, yet there is nowhere for them to hide in the little plastic tanks.
What happens to these frogs after they’ve grown up? They usually don’t live very long, and it’s no wonder as to why. Educators and parents may think they’ll only need to care for these frogs for a few months and then they plan to release them into local parks, until they find out that African clawed frogs are considered an invasive species. In certain states a permit is even required to own them. Demand that these dangerous kits be banned and protect the African clawed frog.
Dear Ms. Jones,
African clawed frogs are being sold in kits as an experiment for children, even though they are a huge responsibility. This leads to neglect and early deaths for countless frogs when kids inevitably lose interest. Their needs are not even being met by the contents of these kits, which supposedly contain all that’s needed for their care. Amphibians need hiding places, yet there are none provided or suggested. The tanks are also much too small, and these frogs require a varied diet, while the kits only include pellets.
One of the most important things for children to learn is compassion, so the proper care and treatment of animals should never be overlooked. These kits are dangerous, not only for the frogs but also for the children learning to treat living beings as disposable things. Some adults may get tired of caring for these frogs after the science lesson is over, and take them to local rivers and release them, even though the clawed frogs are an invasive species and pose a threat to any smaller animals. Please stop frog kits from being sold and endangering the lives of African clawed frogs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pouzin Olivier