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 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.”
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 in new admissions.
“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.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.