The R Team

A crack team has been put together to rescue exotic pets throughout the Kent area.

The volunteers are swamped with calls every day from owners struggling to cope with their pets.

The latest call was for a 4ft Bosc Monitor in Sheerness, Kent.

The SEEPR is run by Matt Lacey who runs the service from his home. He said monitors are one of the most common species they rescue.

He said: “I’m told this Bosc Monitor is aggressive as he hasn’t been handled, but I’m confident he will, like the others I have taken in, be tame within a few weeks.”

Mr Lacey said all too often people didn’t do enough research when buying exotic pets.

He said: “People don’t do enough research and then take them on not really knowing how big they get. They keep them for a while but then they become too expensive.

“Reptiles require a lot of expertise; you have to create an enclosure with UV lighting and the right humidity levels.

“We’ve had incidents in the past where the reptiles have had burns all over their bodies where there hasn’t been a guard put over the light in the enclosure. When they leant against it for warmth their skin melted.”

He said another common animal they had to rescue was bearded dragons. Mr Lacey said he had seen shocking cases including a bearded dragon which had not been fed for four months.

He said: “Bearded dragons are solitary animals and we have lots handed in after they’ve been kept in groups and started to fight, or they have been kept in the wrong lighting and have deformities.”

Mr Lacey said royal pythons are also often handed in with respiratory infections due to incorrect humidity levels and Burmese pythons are abandoned when they reach large sizes.

“Reptiles are amazing animals and with the right care and handling make great pets – my advice to anyone is to do research,” he said.

SEEPR’s biggest rescues are a 20ft Burmese Python named Bambi, a 7ft Nile Monitor and a huge Goliath Birdeater tarantula,

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