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Animal charity in Dartford is struggling with increased number of snakes and reptiles abandoned by owners

By Messenger Reporter

An animal charity is struggling with an increased number of snakes and reptiles abandoned by their owners.

Dartford-based animal sanctuary Artisan Rare Breeds, which re-homes and cares for unwanted animals, collected over 100 snakes and reptiles in the last three weeks.

Wayne May, who runs the charity said: “We are not really sure why there has been an influx of abandoned snakes and reptiles. The current market for snakes is flooded and now you can buy snakes for as little as £10, sadly.

Wayne May with a corn snake.

“The most common reason for unwanted reptiles is they have outgrown their environment. Many snakes reach several feet in length while most lizards are abandoned are due to their aggression, bosc monitors reach a body length of 5-6ft and can be very aggressive if not handled regularly.”

When asked about the success rate of re-homing snakes, he said: “It is extremely difficult, only 5% will find new permanent homes, the rest will stay with us for life”.

The increase in unwanted reptiles is evident on various pet websites where owners are offering their snakes and lizards for free.

The most abandoned breed is the corn snake, mostly because they are the cheapest and they can survive on a diet of frozen rodents.

A Royal Python, age three years old.
A new national reptile welfare centre will be the first of its kind in the UK

To find out more about or to adopt a reptile visit www.artisanrarebreeds.org

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