In September, we wrote a post about Frog-O-Spheres, a Brookstone kit (not sold in pet stores) that contains live African dwarf frogs. These kits, marketed as educational products, confine two aquatic frogs to a small aquarium, without shelter or a place to hide.
These aquatic frogs actually need a gallon of water per frog in order to thrive, and it is recommended that they have some sort of water heating, as well as artificial light to simuate night and day because they are nocturnal. But the Frog-O-Spheres’ gimmick is that they are a complete “ecosystem” and have all that the frogs will need to stay healthy. In fact, if one part of the “ecosystem” doesn’t function (for example, if the snails that are supposed to eat the algae die), the frogs suffer.
Some people who buy these kits do take the time to learn how to care for their frogs properly and the frogs may live for a few years or longer. But many people purchase the kits as an office decoration or as a cute gift for kids, not unlike the hermit crabs people buy at the seashore in the summer. Without proper care, however, the animals usually die within a month or two.
In November, after PETA received numerous complaints about the Frog-O-Spheres, they went undercover at Wild Creation, the company that supplies the kits to Brookstone. They found the following:
- Hundred of frogs crammed into bins with dirty, unfiltered water.
- Frogs that were rarely fed. Because the frogs were starving, they were feeding on each other and some customers were complaining about frogs with missing limbs.
- No training was provided to employees. Live frogs were left for dead, tossed on the floor, or thrown in the trash.
- Frogs suspected of being sick were mistakenly shipped to customers instead of being properly quarantined. Frogs were plucked from tubs containing fungus-covered decomposing frogs and were also shipped to customers.
In addition, the Center for Disease Control reported a week ago that a national salmonella outbreak afflicting 48 people in 25 states was connected to African dwarf frog pets.
Please see the PETA website for more information, including a film shot at Wild Creation, and suggestions for ways you can take action to urge Brookstone to stop selling Frog-O-Spheres.