Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium are urging people not to get exotic animals as pets unless they are willing to be responsible enough to take care of these remarkable creatures.
The advice came following a disturbing rise in the number of people wanting to re-home their pets over the Christmas season.
Currently more than 4,500 licenses have been granted to house these animals on private property in the UK. The animals that are kept as pets range from lions, argentine iguana to mighty pythons.
Aquarist Lauren Winstanley explained why these exotic animals are so popular.
“It’s quite a novelty factor and also they are good for people who are allergic to furry animals such as cats and dogs”.
However, she also warns owning these animals does come with a price
“They all have specific living condition, and problems arise by inadequate living conditions because you have to take into account conditions such as temperature, humidity, size of enclosure and size of the fully grown animal. If any of these goes wrong it could really impact the quality of life for the animal”.
“I did research for 2 months just to make sure I would be able to cater to the needs of the animal. I think it is completely unfair to buy a living creature on a whim without being able to care for it adequately” says hedgehog owner Darcey Haynes.
Like the old saying a pet is for life not just for Christmas. Pet owners must step on the plate so that the welfare of these animals are well taken care of.