All creatures great and small

Bill Lowe SUS-160113-091724001
Bill Lowe SUS-160113-091724001

Former Rye resident Bill Lowe has been busy setting up the first snail sanctuary in France and a tortoise rescue centre in Andalusia.

Since his retirement, Bill Lowe has been busy writing for a number of popular animal magazines, including Practical Reptile Keeping, Small Furry Pets, Cage and Aviary Birds and Popular Fish Keeping.

Now, following in the footsteps of the late James Heriot, he has turned author. His first book ‘Tales from The Reptile House’ is about to hit the bookshelves.

Bill now divides his time between homes in the South of France and Andalusia in southern Spain, where he has set up a sanctuary for former pet tortoises following the introduction of a new law introduced last year forbidding people from keeping tortoises as pets.

This has resulted in many of them being released back into the wild with no immediate knowledge of how to fend for themselves.

After finding the injured victims of passing vehicles on the road. He even glues their shells back together again using Superglue!

Since moving to France he has also found himself responsible for setting up France’s first snail sanctuary.

Humour and eccentricity abound in the new book, in which Bill combines practical tips on keeping reptiles with a series of personal anecdotes – many of which are the result of the 19 years he spent working in a Scottish zoo.

He describes the animal collection at Pittencrieff Park as “his own private Eden”.

When it came to travelling in comfort, Bill writes that he quickly discovered that being accompanied by a tarantula always meant that he got a seat on the train.

He tells the tale of a Bosc’s monitor lizard with a weak bladder - to say nothing of saving a one-eyed gecko just before it went for a spin in the washing machine and rescuing a chameleon that literally stopped the traffic.

On a more serious note, he chronicles how he found himself involved in a scandal in the Maldives when he released 19 turtles back into the ocean at the dead of night and how he discovered that the dragons weren’t the most voracious predators on the island of Komodo.

The book will be released shortly as part of the Practical Pets series which is available to purchase from pet shops and online.