Yes, I Would Like to (Virtually) Adopt an Adorable Axolotl, Thank You
If your Godzilla-loving 12-year-old self dreamed of ever having a pet dinosaur, adopting axolotls in 2023 might be your best bet. They’re far from scary or huge, and though they look like dinos, they’re actually just small salamanders.
Unless any are up for rehoming or adoption (not for sale or import), you can adopt your own virtual axolotl to help save them from extinction. These adorable axolotls are under threat of habitat loss and have also dwindled significantly in number. Axolotls are still here, but they need all the help they can get so that they can have their own refuge in Lake Xochimilco against invasive species.
Axolotls are creatures that were revered by ancient Aztecs, and they’re also great symbols of Mexican culture. They’re endemic to Lake Xochimilco and are only found there. The lake is currently plagued by invasive species like carp and tilapia which prey on axolotl eggs. In addition to invasive species, axolotls are also threatened by pollution in the lake and its gradual drainage. Many axolotls have been dying off because of skin-eating fungus brought about by pollution.
The loss of axolotls won’t be a devastation just to the people of Mexico, but also to the whole world. This is because axolotls don’t just contribute cuteness to the table; they’ve had significant scientific contributions in a variety of studies involving cancer and regeneration studies, among many others. You can virtually adopt an axolotl under the “Adoptaxolotl” campaign by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) for as low as $30 for one month ($30–$50). You can also just donate $10 for an axolotl’s dinner and receive a thank you letter if that’s to your liking, but there are other options such as repairing an axolotl’s home ($50), adopting a whole refuge ($450–$5,393) which you can visit.
(featured image: Iva Dimova/Getty Images)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]