RSPCA appeal: Two dead exotic lizards dumped in Hornchurch alleyway
PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 February 2020
The discovery of two lifeless lizards dumped in rubbish bags in a Hornchurch alleyway has triggered an appeal for information by the RSCPA.
A dead red bearded dragon and Yemen chameleon were found by a passerby near Chestnut Avenue in boxes wrapped in a black bin liner on Thursday, February 6.
He contacted the RSPCA to report the distressing discovery.
RSPCA inspector Jack Taylor said: "The two dead animals were in two small vivariums [tanks] which had been wrapped in a black rubbish bag.
"These poor animals had not been dead long, and we fear that they died because their welfare needs were not being met.
"Exotic pets are completely dependent on their owners for the correct accommodation, heating, lighting and feed, all of which must replicate their wild habitat as closely as possible to keep them healthy and allow them to express their normal behaviour.
"But the small vivariums they were found in were totally inappropriate for animals who require space and, in the case of chameleons, their natural behaviour includes climbing trees."
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Reptiles like the two found in Hornchurch, require special equipment such as UV lights and heaters for the provision of appropriate humidity.
Without proper care they can suffer from dehydration, parasites and in severe cases or if left untreated, they can eventually die.
"Sadly this incident isn't unusual," said Jack.
"We find that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, which we believe may be why we are rescuing hundreds of exotic pets every year.
"We would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with their pets to contact their local vet or rescue centre and ask for help.
"If anyone has any information about these poor animals we would encourage them to contact our appeals line on 0300 123 8018."
The RSPCA urges people thinking of keeping a reptile to thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal.
They also recommend that owners ask for help and advice from experienced keepers and specialist exotics vets.