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Examining the Laws on Exotic Pets

Monday, 29 March 2010

Exotic animals often need extremely specialist treatment and can be very difficult to look after, often leading to poor treatment of the animal or the owner dumping the animal as seen in February last year when a python that was pulled from the river Slaney. The python was ten feet in length and was found when the central fisheries board was conducting a survey on the river. Experts believe that the snake hadn't eaten for a long time and was malnourished. Usually pythons can live for up to a year without eating so it's not known how long the python was in the river.

James Hennessy

James opened the reptile village on the 17th of March, 2006. The project took eighteen months to complete. It was designed and constructed by the owner, James Hennessy, with help from friends and family. Including his wife, Susan, who helped to lay blocks and thatch roofs while pregnant!

James' interest in reptiles and amphibians began early. In 1986, at the age of 11, he organised a frog race for a school open day. In the same year he bought his first pet turtle, which he still has, on display in Reptile Village Various species of reptile and amphibian have been bred in captivity by James including some rarer, more endangered species. Some of the animals which have had eggs or young include Conehead Iguanas, White-lipped Pit Vipers, Day Geckos, Nile Monitors, Boa Constrictors, Frilled Dragons, Cuban Knight Anoles and Chameleons.

James has had the opportunity to study and observe these animals in the wild, in many parts of the world, including North Africa, Indonesia, Cuba, West Africa, Canada, Venezuela, India and across Europe

Emma Quinlan is an Irish model who has performed with snakes for many years. She had 15 at one time, but now keeps 5.

Cuiver's Dwarf Caiman (South America)

This and the larger Spectacled caiman are becoming very popular as pets. The Spectacled Caiman is just under 6 feet, with large males almost reaching 10 feet. It roughly costs about €500 a month to maintain this animal through heating and feeding.

Yemen Veiled Chameleon

These can make quite delicate but very interesting captives. They don't tend to drink from water bowls and can have a problem seeing water which isn't moving. They therefore need to be misted on regular basis, drinking the droplets forming on leaves and bark in their enclosure.

This is an animal which normally gets over-fed in captivity and ends up dying prematurely. Females can lay eggs from a very young age, even without a male present (although unfertile) and this early egg laying can cause lots of health problems if the animal hasn't been getting the correct vitamins and minerals.

Asian Water Monitor

A very effective predator. Fed a diet of fish, eggs, full grown rats and small ducks. His diet is carefully controlled and all lizards can die from liver and kidney damage, it's the biggest cause of death that we see at the zoo from animals which are handed in to us. Monitor lizards are from the same family of lizards as Komodo dragons, and have as bad a bite. Their very specialized teeth are designed to rip and shred flesh causing maximum damage. A monitor needs a room sized enclosure, heated up to over 30 degrees Celsius in parts and with a large bathtub sized water container to bath in.

Burmese Pythons:

Burmese pythons have the potential of reaching over 20 feet in length and are more than capable and have killed their owners, although fortunately not in Ireland yet. The last case was a 2 year old girl which was killed by her mother's boyfriend's pet 9 foot Burmese Python last July in Florida.

For More Information on The Reptile Village visit, www.reptilevillage.net

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