Bearded dragon found dumped in St Albans car park
PUBLISHED: 11:24 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 13 August 2018
The RSPCA is appealing for information after the reptile was found abandoned in its vivarium in St Albans.
The bearded dragon was found in a ‘very public’ area of the Greenwood Park car park in Carisbrooke Road on Wednesday, August 8.
A member of the public called the RSPCA and then took the bearded dragon to a local reptile specialist, who took him in and assessed that while he is healthy, the vivarium was in poor condition.
RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright said: “This is a very public area so we hope someone might have seen something or might know where this bearded dragon has come from.
“Sadly the vivarium was in poor condition - the RSPCA do see many instances of dumped exotic pets and we think the reason behind this is often that owners cannot cope with the amount of care that they need.
“He has now been taken to a specialist boarding establishment where he is recovering before he can be rehomed.”
Bearded dragons are among the top five species of reptiles that are being collected by RSPCA inspectors or handed in to their centres. The charity also receives calls about corn snakes, terrapins, tortoises, leopard geckos, boa constrictors and royal pythons.
RSPCA exotics senior scientific officer Nicola White said: “The number of calls the RSPCA received about reptiles rose 20 per cent over the past five years and sadly we are regularly being called to collect reptiles, like this poor bearded dragon, that have been abandoned, or neglected, presumably because owners no longer want them or cannot care for them properly.
“Reptiles are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs, which include the need to be provided with the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet for the particular species.
“They are commonly found for sale in pet shops and online, however it is sadly often the case that they are handed over to buyers with very little or no information about how to care for them properly or the commitment that is involved in keeping them healthy.
“If you do find yourself in a situation where you can no longer look after your pet, there are options available. You could contact the original seller or a local reptile rescue centre for help rehoming your reptile if you feel you are no longer able to care for them.”
Anyone with information about how the bearded dragon came to be abandoned should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.