Topic: Previous guests

Red Fronted Lemur

Name: Red Fronted Lemur
Common Name: Red Fronted Lemur
Latin Name: Eulemur fulvus rufus
About: 3 Red Fronted Lemurs were donated to us by a private keeper, as although they have the highest level of protection under CITES the keeper had no certificates, so could not sell them, display them or use them for any commercial purpose.

Once we were notified of his wish to anonymously donate them we contacted the CITES licensing branch in Bristol to explain the situation and request that they issue us with permits which would allow the use of the animals only for an educational or conservation purpose. This they agreed to grant after imposing strict conditions that we agreed to meet.

3 weeks later we collected the Lemurs and moved them to the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow, where they had a quick check over. The intention was that the 3 of them would go to a pre-arranged college where they would join the animal care training centre under the care of the experienced animal manager employed there. However once they were collected it turned out that over the previous couple of weeks the male and one of the females had paired off and were bullying the other female who have needed to be separated off.

It was then decided on welfare grounds that the pair should go on to the college and the single female would stay with us while we located a mate for her.

African Pygmy Hedgehog

Name: African Pygmy Hedgehog
Common Name: African Pygmy Hedgehog
Latin Name: Erinaceus albiventris
About: In 2001 we received 3 African Pygmy Hedgehog’s which had been seized by DEFRA on welfare grounds, while transiting through Heathrow.

Once they had served their quarantine period at the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow they were placed on loan in a zoo’s education centre.

Barn Owls

Name: Barn Owls
Common Name: Barn Owls
Latin Name: Tyto Alba
About: We recently took in 4 Captive Bred Barn Owls, after the owners circumstances changed and she contacted uk for help.

We don’t normally accept owls for re-homing, however on this occasion we had 2 zoos who had recently opened a British species display and were looking to offer a permanent home to either injured specimens or captive bred animals.

Each collection took 2 Barn Owls and we are happy to say that they have settled well in their new homes.

If you have Captive Bred Owls that require Re-homing please go to our links section where you will find a couple of organisations who should be able to help you.

Tawny Owls

Name: Tawny Owls
Common Name: Tawny Owls
Latin Name: Strix aluco
About: We recently took in 2 Captive Bred Tawny Owls, after the owners circumstances changed and she contacted uk for help.

We don’t normally accept owls for re-homing, however on this occasion we had a zoo who had recently opened a British species display and were looking to offer a permanent home to either injured specimens or captive bred animals

the collection took both the Tawny Owls and we are happy to say that they have settled well in their new home.

If you have Captive Bred Owls that require Re-homing please go to our links section where you will find a couple of organisations who should be able to help you.

Snapping Turtle

Name: Snapping Turtle
Common Name: Snapping Turtle
Latin Name: Chelydra serpentina
About: Our latest snapping turtle arrived with us in march 2007, as he had out grown his tank.

He has a shell length of approximately 22cm and weighed in at just under 3kg.

He is currently waiting to move into his new home which has been offered to him by a public aquarium, where he will be displayed to explain to the public how large this species grows, how aggressive they can be and why they do not make suitable pets!

Tango

Name: Tango
Common Name: Burmese Python
Latin Name: Python molurus
About: Tango Came to us after his owners divorced and he could no longer be housed correctly.

He is about 14ft and 15 years old.

He has found a new home at a zoo where he meets the public a few times a week during the reptile education session.

Indonesian Snake Necked Turtle

Name: Indonesian Snake Necked Turtle
Common Name: Indonesian Snake Necked Turtle
Latin Name: Macrochelodina rugosa (Formerly Chelodina siebenrocki)
About: In the wild this species occurs along the southern coast of West Papua New Guinea and Papua New Guinea living in steams, marshes and swamps.

The largest specimen that we have ever had handed in had a shell size of 35cm with a neck length of 28cm!

Norman

Name: Norman
Common Name: African crested porcupine
Latin Name: Hystrix cristata
About: Norman is a young African crested porcupine, we are unsure of ‘his’ sex at the moment, so he may turn out to be Norma!

He was captured in a ‘live fox trap’ by the RSPCA after appearing in a garden in Oxfordshire. He was seen by the house owner eating food which had been placed outside to feed other, more normal British wildlife.

He returned the following day and the home owner managed to get some photos to convince the RSPCA that he had not been drinking, there actually was a porcupine in his garden, and no it was not just a big hedgehog!

With the photo evidence the RSPCA sent one of their staff members down on a Saturday evening at dusk to set a live trap, baited with apples and other fruit.

Amazingly she received a call at 1am on the Sunday morning to tell her that it had been captured!

Later that Sunday morning she called us to say that Norman had been trapped and could we please arrange to collect him as they felt he required specialised care and they would prefer it if we could take control of Norman and arrange a good home for him, assuming no one came forward to claim him.

African crested Porcupines are given the highest status under Annex A of the European endangered species act and the European Protected Species legislation, which makes it an offence to possess or handle species covered without a licence. Luckily Specialist Wildlife Services is fully licensed by Natural England who were immediately informed of Normans capture.

Norman is currently resting and recovering from his ordeal at the animal reception centre at Heathrow and once he has been checked over by the vet, he will be placed out on loan so that he can socialise and join other Porcupines!

Scooby

Name: Scooby
Common Name: Ring-tailed Coati
Latin Name: Nasua nasua
About: Scooby came to us in 2008.

He was an ex-pet who had been living with another male Ring-tailed Coati for about 3 years.

In early 2008 he suddenly started to develop a slight aggression towards his cage mate and his keeper. This was probably bought on as he reached maturity, which in the wild is when the males start to wander in search of a mate.

The keeper decided that it was in Scooby’s best interest that he was found a new home so that he was away from the stressful situation of the other male.

Initially Scooby came to stay with us for a week so that we could assess his behaviour. Within a couple of days he had settled and was once again showing none of the aggression which had been evident in the previous couple of months.

Scooby has now been re-homed into a very large enclosure which is loaded every day with different food filled objects which keeps his interest high while he forages.

Although Coati have now been removed from the Dangerous Wild Animals licence, it does not mean that they are no longer dangerous or capable of inflicting severe injuries.

Please do not buy a coati as a pet.

Unless you are an experienced keeper they are potentially dangerous and require continual enrichment to avoid boredom.

Spur Thighed Tortoise

Name: Spur Thighed Tortoise
Common Name: Spur Thighed Tortoise
Latin Name: Testudo graeca graeca
About: In august 2008 we received an email from a member of the public. They had just returned from a holiday in Morocco.

While they were there they had seen baby Tortoises for sale in the market and bought 5.

They then returned to the UK travelling with them in their pockets, within a day of arriving back in the UK one had already died.

After receiving their email we agreed to accept the tortoises in anonymously from them so that there was no risk of prosecution to them while at the same time we could ensure that the tortoises received the immediate intensive care that they required to save any more from the same fate as the first one.

We contacted the Tortoise Trust who sent out one of their members to collect the baby tortoises. Within 3 hours of that first email the tortoises had been collected and were now in the care of an experienced keeper.

Once they had been identified and were in good hands we notified the UK authorities and Customs of the fact that we had received some ILLEGALLY imported tortoises from a member of the public for rehoming.

Once we had explained the situation it was agreed that the Tortoises would officially be seized so that they became the property of the Crown. This ensures that they can never be sold or traded. It was then agreed that the Tortoise Trust should maintain the Tortoises through one of their members.

Those 4 tortoises have had a lucky escape as you can see from the photograph!

Please note that it is normally illegal to buy tortoises from any country outside the EU and bring them back home after your holiday.

Buy doing so you may save the life of that individual tortoise, but it only supports the collecting from the wild of more tortoises to sell.

If you want a pet tortoise please find a UK based captive breeder, ensuring that you receive the correct legal paperwork with it (if required).