January 9, 2017
Experts at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium are urging people not to buy exotic pets unless they are committed to giving them a forever home.
The warning comes after the Rock-a-Nore Road wildlife attraction received a number of reports over the Christmas period of people looking to re-home unwanted reptiles on social media.
The aquarium is aiming to highlight the potential problems associated with keeping exotic animals as pets and offer advice on which creatures can be kept safely and responsibly.
“There has been a massive increase in the number of so-called exotic pets being brought into the country in recent years,” said Blue Reef Aquarium’s Leanna Lawson.
“In recent months we have seen reptiles and even little musk turtles on Facebook selling pages.
“Many people purchase creatures like snakes and lizards which they simply cannot look after properly.
“The result is either the animal dies or else grows so large or aggressive it has to be re-homed either by the RSPCA or other animal rescue organisations,” she added
The aquarium is home to a wide range of reptiles and amphibians which have been donated or rescued. However they are now having to turn requests away as they no longer have the capacity to take new animals on.
“It is possible to keep creatures like boa constrictors, chameleons and monitor lizards safely and responsibly but it takes a lot of effort and hard work,” said Leanna.
“We would urge anyone interested in keeping exotic pets to do their research beforehand and join one of the many reputable reptile and amphibian societies to find out more,” she added.