Ninja Turtles Films Misery

We have come to detest the launch of new variants of the Ninja Turtles franchise. Every time a new film, DVD, game or TV series comes out or is relaunched we receive another tranche of requests for “those turtles you can get that stay small. You know, the ones you just need a tank and a rock for.” Or something similar to that.

Usually people will listen whilst we patiently explain that these don’t actually exist. That what they have seen are baby turtles being kept (and sold) incorrectly by ignorant or unscrupulous sellers. Sometimes though they refuse to listen, telling us that we are wrong or implying that we are lying in order to sell more equipment. My daughter had this just the other day. The person asked her advice about getting yellow bellied turtles that would stay the size of a 50p piece and when she told them what size they actually get to, proceeded to insist she was wrong and how she didn’t know what she was talking about, despite us having four upstairs in a 650 litre tank that each weigh between 1kg and 1.5kg. This is what spurred me to write this little bit of advice.

Turtles are not the easiest of animals to keep. They require a lot of space (dependant on adult size), a good filtration system (they generate a lot of waste), a heater for the water, UVB lighting, a basking area and lighting for most, a species specific diet (sometimes even gender specific) and a lot of cleaning.

Turtle

35cm and 1.5kg is not a small turtle

We had a lady in the other day who had been sold musk turtles (one of the smallest species). The seller (unfortunately an exotics shop who should know better) had told her that they only grow to 5cm  (it’s actually more like 15cm), that the UVB lamp would also heat the water (not true, she needed a water heater as she had already found out herself) and that they should be kept in 3 inches of water (they are one of the more aquatic species, found in depths of up to 9m in the wild). I don’t know what filter, if any she had. The tank was only 25 litres as well, so too small for when they attain adult size. I have heard some business owners saying “In the end, they are grown ups, so should do their own research before buying. It’s their responsibility, not mine!” I disagree. If you cannot give the correct advice, you shouldn’t be selling that animal and I feel I have a responsibility to the animal to be sure it is going to receive the correct care from the new owner (as best I can anyway) before selling them anything.

turtle lamp

This lamp will NOT heat your water as well

So next time there is a film involving turtles or any other animal for that matter (I still remember PAH putting adverts for guinea pigs at the exit from the cinema for the GForce film, a really bad and frankly cynical idea), please find out the facts first before even considering buying an animal. Make sure you can afford ALL the equipment required, have space for it as an adult and can look after it for its full lifespan. In the case of turtles this could be 30 to 40 years. Finally, if you come in and ask our advice, please at least listen to it and not argue and tell us we are wrong. If you disagree with the advice, fine but if you know more than we do (and you may) then why are you asking us? The strap line for our business is “Promoting responsible and ethical pet ownership” and that is what we try to do.

The Angell Pets Team

 

Yemen Chameleons Now In Stock

Yemen Chameleons, one of the most popular species of chameleon, are now back in stock.

yemen chameleon

We have limited stocks of these UK bred Yemen chameleons. All the ones we have left are male. The males are larger and more brightly coloured than the female and of course won’t be prone to egg binding.

Our Yemen chameleon care sheet will tell you everything you need to know before considering one of these stunning animals. Of course if you require more information you can always email us or call on 01452 501882.

Don’t forget we do complete set up deals with everything you need to keep your Yemen chameleon in tip top condition.

The Angell Pets Team

Hog Island Boa Care Sheet

Hog Island boas are an island variety of common boa. The two main differences are size and colouration. Hog Island boas are naturally hypomelanistic (low in black pigment). This allows the other colours to stand out more, giving a lovely muted pattern of light browns and pinks to orange and even blue. Adult female common boas may reach 12 feet but it is very rare for a Hog Island boa to get above 6 feet and males generally reach 4 feet. Common boas would make great first snakes if it were not for their adult size. The smaller size of the Hog Island boa makes it a great alternative to the often fussy royal python as a choice of first snake. This Hog Island boa care sheet sets out the basics for you.

hog island boa

Housing

Obviously the other “advantage” the Hog Island boa has over the larger commons is that being smaller, they require less space, allowing for a smaller enclosure. The old rule of thumb, length of vivarium plus depth of vivarium equals length of snake shows a three foot vivarium large enough for all but the largest specimens and a four foot enough for even a large female. So for someone wanting a boa but without the space (or the funds) to house a large common, the Hog Island boa makes an obvious choice.

As to keeping a smaller Hog Island boa in a small box until it is bigger and more confident. Can you? Well, yes you can. Do you have to? Well, no you don’t. If you want to house a young Hog Island boa in the vivarium that will last into adulthood and beyond, that is fine. Just ensure there are plenty of places for it to hide away in different areas of the viv.

Heating

The Hog Island boa comes from the tropical Cayos Cachinos Islands off the coast of Honduras. So they need heat and a reasonable level of humidity (although not wet). Around 29C at the hot end and a humidity level of around 60% is fine. I prefer heating with a ceramic heat emitter and this must have a cage around it to prevent contact with the snake and consequent burns. Due to the smaller size of the Hog Island boa you could use a heat mat (mounted on the end wall of the viv. to prevent thermal blocking). Which ever you use, a thermostat to control the temperature is essential. Over heating will damage a snake much more quickly than under heating. Of the two methods of heating mentioned, heat mats and on/off thermostats are cheaper, whilst ceramics and pulse proportional thermostats give a finer level of control.

hog island boa

Lighting

The Hog Island boa generally does not require specialist lighting but why have a snake in a vivarium and then not be able to see it? I find the best modern solution to be LED lighting. Most are neat, quite stylish, don’t generate heat so don’t need to be guarded, can come in a variety of colours (some will automatically change from day to night lighting if you want to be flash), are low voltage inside the viv, are energy efficient, last the lifetime of the snake so don’t require regular replacement of blown lamps…As you can see I am quite sold on them. However properly guarded incandescent lamps can be used (but take the heat generated into consideration) and fluorescent tubes work well but will need to be replaced occasionally.

hog island boa

Substrate

I prefer bark chips (orchid bark) for a Hog Island boa. The dark colour sets off the snake well and this substrate works well as a holder of moisture, helping to maintain some humidity. Other substrates can be used, aspen, lignocel, beech chip, cage carpet etc. Humidity can be maintained by positioning of the water bowl – at the hot end increases humidity as the water evaporates. Water should be changed daily anyway so it will not be there long enough for it all to disappear. In the end the choice of substrate is yours, most cost around the same so that shouldn’t be a factor. Whatever you want for your Hog Island boa.

Decor

As with most snakes, a hide of some description is a must so the Hog Island boa has somewhere to go when it feels the need to be secure. More than one is better, so the snake can choose the temperature of the hide it wants to use. A hide is also a good place to put some damp moss for localised increase of humidity when shedding. Some form of branch is good (environmental or habitat enrichment to get all professional) to allow climbing behaviour. Aside from these it’s your viv. so it’s your choice. Silk plants are an attractive addition to a vivarium (real plants work too but you may spend more time looking after them than the Hog Island boa) and of course a skull always looks good with a snake coming out the eye socket. No? Just me then.

Feeding

Apart from an Amazon Tree Boa I had once (there is always one), every boa I have had has been a good feeder. The Hog Island boa is no exception. I have heard that they can go off their food if they feel insecure but if you have the correct set up in your vivarium this is not going to happen. Mice for smaller specimens is fine but I would get onto rats as soon as possible as larger ones are going to need larger food and there is a possibility it could get habituated to mice. Not the Hog Island boa examples I have had though. They eat anything (well not really anything but you get the point). As with any snake, don’t feed too large a mouse or rat though. There are a lot of risks associated with this, from refusing food to regurgitating later to damage to the insides of the snake from sharp rat claws etc. It’s just not worth risking it for no perceivable benefit to the snake. I feed once a week on smaller food up to once every two weeks for larger. The snake will let you know. Oh and I always use tongs for feeding. A nice smell of rat coupled with a nice warm hand can result in a snake striking at the wrong thing. A Hog Island boa is no exception to this potential confusion.

Handling

The Hog Island boa is quite a docile snake and certainly doesn’t seem to mind being handled (I can’t speak snake so I wouldn’t like to say they enjoy it). As with all snakes, the more secure they feel the less likely to try to escape, strike etc. The more points of contact on its body, the more secure the snake will feel. Always approach a snake from behind, never from in front of its head. The Hog Island boa has a lot of very highly tuned sensors (nostrils, eyes, tongue and Jacobson’s organ and heat pits) Continue reading

May Offers from Angell Pets Gloucester Pet Shop

Our May offers are now available on line in our webstore or in our Gloucester pet shop

Harringtons Dog Food Lamb & Rice 15kg

harringtons dog food

 

Harringtons Dog Food Turkey & Veg 15kg

Catsan Hygiene Litter 10L ONLY £3.99 RRP £6.26

catsan

Russel Rabbit Tasy Nuggets 2kg ONLY £1.99 RRP £3.99

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Lick N Chew Strips ONLY £1.99 RRP £2.99

Chicken Strips

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Healthy Heart Strips

Beautiful Coat Strips

Combat Stress Strips

Flexible Joints Strips

Pointer Salmon Burgers 500g ONLY £1.49 RRP £1.99

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Pointer Liver Squares 500g ONLY £1.49 RRP £1.89

Mikki Nail Clipper Large ONLY £6.99 RRP £11.99

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Winalot Shapes 2kg ONLY £2.69 RRP £3.49

winalot shapes

Ancol Ergo Univeral Slicker Brush

dog grooming

Small ONLY £2.99 RRP £4.55

Medium ONLY £3.49 RRP £5.70

Large ONLY £4.25 RRP £6.90

FIPROtech Spot On Medium Dog 3 Treatment ONLY £8.99 RRP £12.00

flea treatment

Meowing Heads Purr Nickety 250g ONLY £2.85 RRP £4.19

meowing heads

Omega Tasty Dog Original 15kg ONLY £14.99 RRP £22.99

omega tasty

Omega Tasty Dog Chicken 15kg ONLY £14.99 RRP £22.99

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Pedigree Dog Pouches 4 x 100g Sachets ONLY 95p RRP £1.29

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Chicken & Beef

Chicken & Lamb

Puppy

Senior

Aquarian Goldfish Flake 25g ONLY £2.39 RRP £2.89

aquarian goldfish

Green – Um Lawn Burn Control 100 Tablets ONLY £6.99 RRP £10.99

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Visit our on line webstore or in person at Angell Pets in our Gloucester pet shop for more offers.

The Angell Pets Team