Large lizard made homeless highlights issues with caring for exotic animals, RSPCA warns

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The RSPCA is warning people against keeping exotic animals after a large monitor lizard has been left homeless in Newcastle.

Rex, the Asian lizard, was turned over to the animal charity because his owner could no longer take care of him.

After a change of circumstances, Rex’s owner had neither the space nor the equipment to keep the large reptile, which from head to tail is over three feet long.

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RSPCA Exotics Officer Inspector Lucy Green said: “This large Asian water monitor had nowhere to go after its owner had to move out.

“The owner had no choice but to reluctantly cede Rex to us.

“Given the complex demands of exotic animals like this, we were fortunate to be able to find Rex a space in a specialized facility where he will live his natural life.”



Rex’s owner, an Asian water monitor, had neither the space nor the equipment to keep the large reptile, which from head to tail is over three feet long.

Caring for exotic animals can be difficult, according to the RSPCA.

Exotic animals have the same needs as animals of the same species in the wild, which means their wild habitat needs to be recreated as closely as possible.

Often the cost of the required equipment is much higher than that of the individual animal.

Potential custodians need to know the adult size, how long they will live, or if any documents are needed to be kept or sold legally before getting one.

Lucy added, “Although Rex’s keeper guarded him properly, it only took a change in his situation for everything to go wrong.

“Unfortunately, we have to save a lot of exotic animals because people don’t know how engaged these animals are when they take care of them.

“Due to the challenges of raising animals like this, the decision to keep an exotic pet shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“We encourage people who are considering adopting an exotic pet to thoroughly study the needs of the species in question and ensure that they can meet them at any time during the lifespan of the pet. ‘animal.

“These peculiar lizards can live up to twenty-five years and at two years Rex has grown quite a bit before reaching his maximum size of two meters.

“Before acquiring an exotic pet, we encourage people to speak to experts on the particular species they wish to keep and to join member societies where there are experienced keepers who can help if they have. difficulties.

“Specialized vets are also a great source of support and advice for owners. “

For more information from the RSPCA on keeping exotic animals, please visit the charity’s website here.

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