Exotic Pets ! & Why You Should Rehome!

Good morning siblings. Exotic pets… and why you should rehome an animal or adopt rather than purchase from the shop or breeder.

I’ll start off with an amazing list of exotic pets that you might be considering! Covers snakes, lizards, geckos, tortoise, invertebrate and amphibian! Exciting, Ich spreche von Tieren, ja!


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Royal Pythons! I have 4. All of them are great. They make excellent pets for anyone new to snake keeping. They are regarded as problem feeders, but that can be corrected. One of mine went around 4 months without food, then she suddenly started eating again. Although, she was breeding at the time. Worth the purchase. Large, heavy bodied getting to around 4ft on average. Children friendly. There are so many morphs now it is like an ice cream market! Not kidding, and it makes the breeders a fair penny. Always purchase from a reputable store or breeder. Never leave a snake unattended (obvious reasons).

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Chameleons! An old world type of lizard! Famous for changing colours, their long tongue, their all seeing eyes! Beautiful to observe and I imagine even more interesting to keep as pets. I’d love to indulge my reptile obsession by owning one. Varieties abound. Love to climb and spend most of their time above ground, an arboreal species. Watch that tail curl up like a spring. Not what you might think of when someone says lizard.

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Leopard geckos. An extremely popular gecko and excellent for beginners. Hardy creatures from the drier regions of earth. Eating live crickets and such. One of the few species with eyelids… and a permanent smile. Lovely to handle, really great for nervous owners or children. If you want a gecko that is interested in you as much as you are in them, this is up there. Of course, others include tokay geckos, day geckos, crested geckos etc. Personally, I would like to start keeping a few. Comes in a variety of colours or morphs.

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Ah, the meditative calm of the tortoise. A docile species to keep. Need relatively large amounts of space and high heat, along with a vegetarian diet. Easy to observe, probably not the kind of animal you want to handle, simply because you can’t exactly bond with a shell. Some live for over a hundred years. Others grow to humungous sizes! Smaller varieties would be better for me, like the Hermann tortoise which wouldn’t be too large. These should be kept in open top or well ventilated tanks. They can get stuck on their backs so beware especially if housing multiple tortoise together.

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Mexican red knee tarantula

One of the most recognisable species of tarantula. A great beginner pet for newbies. Slow moving and reluctant to bite. They are venomous like all tarantulas, but nothing more than a bee sting. Can shoot hairs out of their rumps. They like to burrow occasionally and are for the most part docile. Can also opt for a chilean rose or pink toe for a starter. Invertebrate does extend to things like praying mantis and other insects. I chose tarantulas as they scare a lot of people. Try holding a *******goliath birdeater like I did. Big difference in size. Another species I want to collect at some point.

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It’s a famous red eye tree frog. Native to hot and humid enviroments. Great to keep in groups, great to handle, and has a tendency to jump right on you. I had the pleasure of holding a few when they jumped out of the habitat through glass onto me at a restaraunt in Animal Kingdom. You can’t silence the truth. I would like to have a small group to go in this imaginary reptile room I am planning.

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I love birds. I love observing them. They are so intelligent. You can have more relaxing afternoons sitting watching birds than anything else. More ancient than reptiles, and more like dinosaurs then most lizards. Cockatoo will be a fiesty animal and I believe they can talk. To be honest most animals can talk nowadays, one time this cow told me to moooooove. Owls would be a stretch to keep, although, the smaller barn owls are so friendly. I used to encounter them frequently on my night travels.

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There are more fish species than I can count. There are so many famous examples that are used in tv and movies, like piranhas! Or, maybe a fish called Wanda? Any type of fish, including sharks (a fish) are kept as pets. People even keep octopus. Now imagine they have enough money to buy a giant aquarium, jellyfish anyone? Fish can be cold water, exotic or whatever else. Most eat fairly straightforward diets. More specialised species will need proper maintained care. You’d be surprises to find the price of some of this, when all I have to doo is nip to the local fish ‘n chip shop for a £4 cod. The colours and variety really is endless, that’s why its’ important to keep the sea clean from waste, because that is killing the great barrier reef and destroying the home of this lot.

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If you are lucky enough to see one at your local zoo, consider yourself lucky. People do actually keep these as pets, and although they start off small and manageable, they turn into huge 15-20ft creatures. Remember Roger Moore in Live and Let Die? What about Captain Hook in Peter Pan? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Another species that has earned a reputation through movies and no fault of its own. I would agree a risk exists in keeping them, but after watching numerous videos of handlers and owners stroking their heads and feeding them chicken from the hand, I do believe domestication is possible.


I mentioned at the start, thanks for making it this far, that I would talk about adoption and rehoming over store or breeder purchased exotic pets. Just like domestic animals such as the cat or dog, exotic pets too need homes. Usually, what happens is someone goes and buy a reticulated python and 2 years later, realises that the 10ft snake is still growing and can’t handle it. Or maybe, someone just bred a shed load or snake or lizard and now wants to offload that to a rescue sanctuary. Do you see what the issues are? It’s not all clear cut. Sometimes you might have no choice to give away a pet to the rescue place, because you could be dying and have nobody else to leave them to, or you could be on the brink of homelessness or bankruptcy or both. Those are extreme circumstances.

I don’t consider things like ‘I can’t take my pet to my new home’ or ‘we don’t really give them the attention they need anymore’, to be an adequate reason to fob animals off to overwhelmed sanctuaries. Thanks to independent keepers taking on a lot of sick and neglected animals, there is hope, they usually work with the species and find a way to move them onto a forever home.

The main issue lay with breeding and mass production. Ball pythons are bred to such an extent that there really is no excuse to continue to do it, be left with excess snakes and try to pawn them off to people who may not be in it for the long run. Just as puppy breeders are in it for the money in a lot of cases, the animals ultimately suffer at the hands of negligent owners, as such the animal is usually in a poor state, because all breeders or shops care about is money (for the most part). Once the animal had shipped, the breeder or shop usually dissolves any further care or responsibility.

Going back to the reptile problem. People get into a species, maybe a huge boa constrictor, tegu and a few snapping turtles. They own them and breed them for years. Until one day, the boa constrictor ‘suddenly changes temperament’ or ‘ the tegu just became impossible to handle.’ Again pretty poor excuses.

We can’t stop the mass reproduction of animals. But, we can stop funding it. That’s why taking in a rehabilitated animal, by adopting or rehoming is better. You don’t fund the problem, you aid in assisting the recovery of the problem by supporting the sanctuaries and allowing them to continue their great work. Also, like humans, animals suffer from health issues. Nobody goes out of their way to care for them like they would a human, which makes rehoming even more important. The animals you get are just as good as fresh produced ones. In fact, I would argue that animals for adoption for the most part are in better health than their mass produced friends in that basement.

Just some food for thought. As the saying goes, a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas. When making a decision to buy an animal, consider if you can acquire it another way which might support animals welfare services.

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