Five hundred snakes, 300 turtles, 145 bearded dragons, five racoon dogs, four marmosets and one wallaby rescued in Cambridgeshire by the RSPCA last year
PUBLISHED: 11:57 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:01 25 April 2019
The RSPCA in Cambridgeshire received more than 180 calls about exotic animals last year, new figures suggest.
The region's animal welfare charity is blaming a lack of owner's research and knowledge before buying exotics animals for the increase in call-outs.
Members of the public in our county contacted the charity about an exotic animal 182 times in 2018.
Nationally in England and Wales, the charity received around 15,790 calls about exotic animals, more than 40 a day, or more than one every hour.
Jayne Bashford, chief inspector, said: “We have real concerns about the welfare of reptiles and other exotic animals kept as pets in this country.
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“In the past, animals have often been handed over to buyers with little or no information about how to care for them properly.
“We believe that 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.”
The RSPCA, which has a team of specially trained exotics officers, rescued over 4,000 exotic animals in 2018.
They rescued more than 500 snakes, more than 300 turtles, 145 bearded dragons, five raccoon dogs and even four marmosets and one wallaby.
Ms Bashford added: “We encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about their needs and whether they're the right pet for them.”
In 2018, there were 8,808 calls to the RSPCA's hotline reporting cruelty, neglect, injury and suffering of all animals Cambridgeshire, including 2,026 about cats, 2,390 about dogs and 672 about horses.