Do your homework to get an exotic pet, says RSPCA - The Evesham Observer

Do your homework to get an exotic pet, says RSPCA

Ross Crawford 27th Apr, 2019 Updated: 29th Apr, 2019   0

THE RSPCA received more than 600 calls about exotic animals last year in the West Midlands, new figures show.

People contacted the charity about exotic animals 607 times in 2018 while nationally in England and Wales, the charity received a total of 15,790 calls about abandoned, stray, sick, suffering and neglected exotic reptiles, mammals, birds and fish – more than one every hour.

The RSPCA believes the reason behind some of the suffering of these exotic pets is that owners do not do their research and don’t understand the type and amount of care that they need, resulting in them being neglected, dumped or escaping.

Among the exotic animals was a 6ft-long boa constrictor found in a Sutton Park, in Sutton Coldfield.

RSPCA animal collection officer Cara Gibbon said: “I was quite shocked by the size of the snake when I arrived to pick him up as it is certainly not something you expect to come across in a popular park.

“The poor snake was very cold and he could have easily died of hypothermia if he hadn’t been found when he was.

“I just can’t believe someone would be so irresponsible that they would chose to dump a snake in such a public area.”

The snake made a recovery and was rehomed to a specialist keeper.

Stephanie Jayson, RSPCA senior scientific officer for exotics, said: “Although their numbers are small compared to more common pets, we have real concerns about the welfare of reptiles and other exotic animals kept as pets in this country.

“Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet.

“We believe people may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home.

“This is why we would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them.”

For information about the exotic animals looking for a home at the RSPCA, visit


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