There is a lot of noise being made about a recall of frozen rodents for reptiles at the moment. There have been a number of cases of salmonella food poisoning loosely linked to reptile owners. Tests have revealed that one supplier has had salmonella found in the frozen rodents they supply to the trade. As a result, several businesses have been forced to recall their stock if they use this supplier.
We have never used this supplier for frozen rodents and so have not been directly effected by this recall. Our own supplier regularly tests for salmonella throughout their process and at the time of writing all tests continue to prove negative. So far so good.
However, as some of the businesses effected (such as Pets at Home) are quite large and as their customers are having to find new shops to purchase their own supplies from; this is now effecting the rest of the supply chain. Additional pressure is being applied as shops that were effected by the poor quality of their existing supplier are having to find better, safer supplies elsewhere. We are now seeing shortages in our supply chain as this increased demand all round starts to bite.
Whilst we still have large supplies in store, we are now seeing shortages in some sizes when re-ordering. We have fresh deliveries every week so these shortages will soon start to become apparent. Obviously we are also seeing increased demand as other shops’ customers start coming to us to find supplies.
Please make sure you get your supplies early, before you run out of your own stocks at home as over the next few weeks we do invisage running low of some sizes, particularly of mice.
Of course, even though our supplies have proved negative for salmonella it is always necessary to wash your hands after handling any animal. I am sure I don’t have to tell our own customers to wash their hands after handling a dead rat and before putting your hands anywhere near your face, work surfaces or food but apparently it seems there are about 900 people since 2015 that did need telling because they clearly didn’t do it!
The largest of the 70 or so species/sub species of the Phelsuma genus. This fascinating bright green, usually red spotted, arboreal gecko comes originally from the north area of Madagascar. As the name suggests this is a diurnal (active by day) lizard. It feeds mainly on insects, smaller vertebrates and some nectar. The Madagascan Giant Day Gecko hunts through the branches and leaves and has the lamellar pads on their toes that make geckos (some) famous for being able to climb vertical surfaces and even hang up side down from leaves and ceilings. In captivity they have no problem running round the glass sides of a suitable vivarium. Anyone considering a bioactive set up would do well to consider the day geckos. I had this set up myself with a breeding pair of Giant Day Geckos (Phelsuma grandis) and it looked the business.
The Madagascan Gian Day Gecko is arboreal so height is as important as floor space. The larger the enclosure the better but as a minimum 60cm long by 60cm high. They can grow up to 30cm (male) although not always. Females are usually a couple of inches smaller. As already stated, they are very agile. They can also be very fast and will shoot out through an open vivarium door if you’re not careful. If they do then you are left chasing a very quick lizard around your walls and ceiling, at my age not that easy. They are known for being escape artists, you have been warned.
If using a wooden vivarium you will need to ensure it is well sealed. These are tropical/sub tropical lizards and the humidity will blow the panels if not properly sealed. I prefer glass for these and similar animals because they are better suited to to the humidity and for spraying the plants and gecko with water. Also, unless you are using some sort of tray liner, wood or more properly melamine) is not suitable for a bio active setups. There are at least four readily available brands of glass vivarium/terrarium currently in the UK (and we have accounts with all of them) and a host of custom builders.
Madagascan Day Geckos are tropical/sub tropical lizards so some form of heating is essential to the continued health of the lizard. Which ever form of heating is used, a temperature gradient across the vivarium will allow the gecko to thermoregulate. Nearly all reptiles are poikilothermic. That is their internal body temperature varies with the temperature of their surroundings (unlike us homeotherms who maintain a stable internal body temperature). They need a hot end (30-32C in the basking area) and a cold end (24-25C) with a gradient in between so they can position themselves to warm up and cool down as required. There are a variety of heating products on the market that can achieve this but I will just outline one method here (with variation depending on budget) as it is the one I tend to use.
A heat mat, mounted to the side of the vivarium to give background heat. This can be left on day and night and connected to a thermostat to switch it off if temperatures get too high (more likely in the day time – why will be clear in a second). A second heat (and light) source, at the same end as the heat mat, mounted above the mesh of the vivarium lid, in the form of a basking lamp. This gives a “hot spot” for the gecko to bask in when it wants to warm up and if a UVA lamp is used it also helps stimulate natural behaviour and colour in the lizard. This lamp is only on during the day giving a day/night difference in temperatures.
Alternatively you could put the basking lamp on a dimmer stat. (dims it down if it gets to hot by reducing the voltage applied to the lamp, which has the added benefit of prolonging lamp life) and have a smaller mat on all the time for background heat. The second method gives finer control but a dimmer stat. is twice the cost of a mat stat. so… As long as the Madagascan Day Gecko is protected from over temperature, either will work fine. If using a wooden vivarium, all heat sources would need to be on a thermostat of some description as wood is a good insulator and will keep the heat in. Glass vivariums usually have mesh lids. Heat rises and escapes so the chances of dangerously high temperatures is much reduced.
Only house one male in an enclosure as males will fight. If housing a male and female together ensure you have a large enclosure with plenty of furniture to ensure the female can avoid the male when she wants. Constant attention form the male will at best cause distress and at worst physical injury.
Most of the food you are going to feed to your Madagascan Giant Day gecko is going to have a poor calcium/phosphorous ratio, namely live insects. This imbalance can be corrected by supplementing the diet with calcium in one form or another. However unless the correct levels of UVB light are supplied then this dietary calcium remains unavailable to the gecko. Animals (us included) use light in the UVB range of the spectrum to synthesize vitamin D3 in the skin. Vitamin D3 is used to metabolize calcium in the diet (and as we are all aware with the COVID pandemic, by the immune system). No vitamin D3, no calcium absorbed from food. The body then goes on the hunt for calcium as it is required by the nervous system and it will start to rob it from the only source left to it, the bones. This leads to a horrible, debilitating disorder called “metabolic bone disease”. The bones start to go thin and even bendy. Mild cases can be reversed but severe cases, even when conditions are corrected, will leave the gecko with deformed limbs and joints. It is painful, crippling and can be fatal and it is totally avoidable with the right UVB lighting. It is even worse in young, growing geckos as obviously they need more calcium to actively grow bones. A Madagascan Giant Day gecko is diurnal, so it is out in the partial sun all day. It is generally classed as a Ferguson zone 3 reptile which means it needs a UVI (UV index) range of 1.0 – 2.6 (Maximum UVI: 2.9 – 7.4 in basking zone).
Don’t worry too much about the technical details of this but the type of UVB lamp you use will depend on the set up of your vivarium and the positioning of the lamp. Not only are there differing strengths of UVB lamp (5%, 10% etc.) but different types, T8 tubes, T5 tubes, compact, mercury vapour, metal hallide. The important thing is that the gecko gets enough UVB light during the day. Unless you possess an expensive UVI meter to check the levels you can only go on a basic understanding of what you are buying.
If the lamp is going to be very close to the basking spot or area where the gecko spends most of the time then a 5% compact will work. If it is going to be a little further then a 10% would be better. If you wish to use a more spread out source then go for a tube. T5 tubes kick out more UVB than T8 tubes but are more expensive. Mercury vapour and metal hallide are probably too strong for this set up and generate a lot of heat, unless of course they are mounted much further away from the lizard. UVB does not travel far from the lamp and the level decays over distance. The stronger the lamp the further it will reach so Mercury vapour are better for ground dwelling species like tortoises or more specialized set ups (such as very large enclosures or rooms). If in any doubt speak to your local reptile shop. In the UK, as part of the license conditions (and you have to have a license to sell animals commercially here) all shops must have a UVI meter and record readings daily. They will know exactly what lamp you need for your set up. Note that ALL UVB lamps will need to be replaced annually. It may still light up but it will no longer be giving out sufficient UVB.
I mentioned UVA with reference to basking lamps in the heating section. UVA stimulates natural behavior and brings out colour. It does not facilitate vitamin D3 synthesis so a UVA lamp alone is not sufficient. They are different wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. It may surprise you how many times, when asked what UV lamp they have, customers just have a basking lamp and when it is pointed out that that is mainly for heat and doesn’t provide UVB they tell me “it says UV on the box”.
What about UVC? Well that is the part of the spectrum responsible for skin damage and cancer. No lamps sold for reptiles as UVA or UVB generate any UVC.
All forms of lighting used should be on for around 12 hours a day and off at night to give a day/night cycle that will encourage natural behaviour and benefit the wellbeing of the Madagascan Day Gecko.
Feeding and Watering
I have already alluded to the diet of the Madagascan Giant Day Gecko. In the wild they eat insects, some vertebrates that are much smaller than themselves and nectar. This diet can be easily recreated in captivity. There is a a much wider range of commercially produced live insects on the market now than when I started keeping reptiles getting on for 50 (cough) years ago. I would recommend varying the diet. Don’t just feed one type of insect. They will take whatever they can get in the wild so swapping the food around a bit is good for them. Not only does it just provide a variety from a behavioral aspect but the insects themselves have different nutritional benefits. I am not going into detail of the different fat, protein, calcium, phosphorous etc. levels of all the available insects here, just vary what is presented and you will be OK. Also gut loading the insect before feeding to the gecko significantly boosts the nutritional content. The lizard eats the whole thing, including whatever the the insect has just eaten (so watch what plants you use that the insects might nibble on!). Just feed some carrot to small to medium small crickets for proof, they almost glow orange! Feeding veg. such as carrot, kale, lettuce, basil etc. will not only boost the vitamins and minerals available to the gecko but will also keep the insects alive. DO NOT let the veg. spoil though. This will wipe out the livefood pretty quickly. They will get sweaty and smelly and you have just wasted a couple of quid. Feed very small amounts frequently (should be all gone in a couple of hours or so) rather than a large chunk for the week.
For the nectar content of the diet there are commercially available powders that you just add water to and present in some sort of small container. Always make these up in small amounts daily and do not allow to spoil. They can also be used to gut load the insects. There also jelly pots available and the geckos seem to like these too.
I never bother with vertebrates. If you want you can try presenting a defrosted pinkie. The diet ours receive is well balanced enough to make this a bit pointless. Remember, in the UK it is illegal to feed live vertebrates to another animal (except under strictly defined circumstances that are not relevant here).
You can present water in a small bowl and the gecko will drink from it. However I prefer to spray the leaves of any fake or real plants at least daily and allow the gecko to drink from that. If you do use a bowl/dish or something flasher like a water fall set, make sure you keep the water fresh. In a warm environment with insects and gecko poop falling in it will get very nasty, very quickly.
People write books about this subject alone so I am only going to cover the basics. I tend to categorize set ups into three types.
Standard or basic. A suitable substrate on the floor, something that helps maintain a bit of humididity like Cresty Life or Coir mixed with bark chips. Your set up, your choice. Some people don’t use any substrate and just wipe the base daily. Fair enough, bit too boring and too much work for me but I guess it works if you spray more frequently. Fake plants both to spray for the Madagascan Day Gecko to drink from and to provide cover (plastic and silk are available, although I prefer silk as I think they look more “real”). A small container for the mixed food and away you go.
Does the job but it will need the substrate cleaning regularly. You can prolong the life by spot cleaning the gecko poop but I challenge any one to find the cricket faeces! After a couple of months it will start to pong a bit and you will start to get fungus growing which will be detrimental to health.
Standard set up but with added detrivores.
Detrivores are small invertebrates (at least in this case) that, well eat detritus. There are several species available that devour the faeces and break it down into nutrients available to plants. If you are using a standard set up with fake plants, you will still have to periodically clean out the substrate but much less frequently.
Bio Active Set Up
To do this properly I strongly recommend using a drainage layer. You can do it without but it is much more difficult to maintain the correct soil moisture content. Too dry and your plants will not thrive, too wet and you could lose the lot very quickly. Plus the soil could go anoxic, which apart from being unhealthy for the lizard, absolutely stinks.
On the bottom you place a reasonable layer of drainage material, usually clay balls. Over this you place a porous membrane or fleece layer to keep the substrate out of the drainage media. On top of this you place your substrate. For good plant growth use a quality forest media with added plant nutrients. I often put a watering tube through the substrate and membrane into the drainage media so water can be added directly to the media for the plants to access when they have established roots but you don’t have to. Add in your detrivores. I use different species (and different sized) woodlice, springtails (an even smaller species of isopod) and in the past have also used white worms (tiny, threadlike detrivores). These should thrive in the substrate and breakdown all the waste so bacteria can have a go and produce nutrients for your plants. Add plants suitable for the environment. There are so many available I am not going to this subject at all here but you want a variety of different heights. These can be planted directly into the substrate if it is deep enough. If you really want lush plant growth you may have to invest in a specialist lamp specifically for them. There are a number of brands making LED lamps for plant growth in vivariums and they all seem to work well. Your vivarium set up will dictate the size and power required. Spray a couple of times a day (more than you would in a basic set up, you are watering the plants too) and that’s it. OK, not really. You will become a bit of an indoor gardener but the gecko is going to love it and you don’t have to clean it out, just clean the water marks off the glass occasionally. Using rainwater reduces the amount of water marks generated and makes them easier to clean off – no mineral deposits.
This is often overlooked by new owners. By taking on any animal you are taking on a commitment to being responsible for that animal’s welfare for the entirety of its life. In the case of a Madagascan Giant Day Gecko this is usually around 8-12 years although there are reports of up to 20 years. If you can’t plan for this and budget for replacing equipment as it reaches the end of its life or fails then please don’t buy an animal at all. If you can then you have many years of observing these fascinating animals interacting with the forest you have created in your living rom.
Throughout the lock down we have had an embargo on the sale of animals from our store as non-essential items. No one should have been leaving home for any reason that was not essential. Food for your pet is essential, as are a number of other items, bedding, hygiene products, medicines, toys (essential for the well being of your pet) etc. A new pet was not essential, so unless it was to replace a deceased partner of a social species, or you were in the store buying your normal supplies anyway we had stopped selling animals. We knew this embargo was coming in advance so we stopped restocking with animals before the lock down happened so for the most part we didn’t have any in stock anyway.
The government has now moved to a new phase. The emphasis is moving away from “stay at home” although you should still do this if at all possible, and focusing more on responsible social distancing whilst trying to gradually return society back to normal, over time and with very strict monitoring of the results of any changes. We feel that in line with this change we are now in a position to start offering our livestock for sale again.
This is not a case of everything returning to normal. We already have a social distancing policy in place at our Gloucester pet shop. Only one customer group in the shop at any time, queuing kept to a minimum outside the shop with customers keeping at least 2m apart. Staff maintaining 2m from customers at all times. Click and collect ordering available by telephone and on line in our web store and FREE local delivery for telephone orders. We will be keeping all these procedures in place and this will have an impact on the returning sale of animals.
In normal times we actively encourage prospective owners to interact with their new pet (hold where appropriate), prior to purchase. Under the corona virus restrictions we cannot return to this at present as it would break the social distancing rules. You may ask to look at an animal in its enclosure and where possible staff will try to place the animal in a carrier for you to look at, both of these can be done whilst maintaining 2m between staff and customers but I’m afraid that is the limit of interaction before purchase. You will not be able to hold or inspect the animal further. Our staff will do all the normal pre-sale inspections and of course our livestock policy (the most generous we have found) remains in place to offer you protection.
This is the only way we feel we can return to selling animals whilst maintaining protection for our staff and customers. Please note that this service is available to customers only. We still have a policy of no browsing the animals. We have wide variety of livestock and it attracts a lot of casual visitors. During normal times this is not an issue (unless the “free zoo” visitors get in the way of genuine customers or, as happens from time to time, are disruptive – in which case they are asked to leave). However during the pandemic they represent an unnecessary risk to staff and customers and would also be preventing genuine customers from entering the premises. So for now the “Free Zoo” remains closed. We have had a couple of instances where members of the public have become abusive and/or aggressive with staff when asked to leave if they are not making a purchase and just want to “look at the animals”. Fortunately the number of these instances have been very few but they should not have happened at all. We have a zero tolerance policy toward abuse of staff and will remove from the shop anyone who decides that the middle of the worst crisis to hit the country since the war is a good time to start trying to throw their weight around. As I say it’s rare and we appreciate the rest of our community who understand the need for these restrictive practices at this time.
We update our livestock list on this website daily (or when it changes) and our web store also has all our livestock displayed with prices. All animal sales remain in store only. We do not sell animals to anyone we have not met and chatted to, about the care and welfare of the animal, first.
Finally, customers often have to have a think before making the decision whether to buy that particular animal. Quite right too, you should never rush into purchasing a particular pet. We would ask however that whilst making the decision you leave the store if it is going to take a few minutes as we cannot allow anyone else in at the same time as you so there could be a queue outside.
Difficult times call for difficult measures and we know none of this is exactly an ideal “customer experience” so we thank you all in advance for your understanding as we try to remain in business whilst protecting ourselves and our families as well as you and yours.
Plumed Basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) originate from the humid tropical forests of Central America. They are a semi-aquatic species of lizard that love to climb but use the water to escape, either by diving in or running very fast across the surface. They can become tame and make good pets. Adults can reach sizes up to 75 cm, including tail. Adult males can be territorial and should not normally be kept together. Average life span 10-20
A sealed wooden (Melamine) vivarium with good ventilation and a glass front is the most suitable. Glass can also be used but be aware that these lizards do not always realize that clear glass is a barrier, and many damage their snouts by constant rubbing – live plants or hanging silk pants in front of the glass sides and back can therefore be a good option for this species. The minimum size should be 1200 x 80 x 60cm but the larger the better. All reptiles are cold blooded and need an external heat source to maintain their body temperature. Each species of lizard requires different degrees of heating, but all lizards benefit from a range of temperatures within the vivarium. One end of the vivarium should be heated. This creates a thermal gradient allowing the lizard to choose its preferred temperature. Thermometers can be placed at each end of the vivarium to monitor the temperature range. The overall vivarium temperature must be controlled by a thermostat. Lower temperatures due to a blown bulb, power failure etc. can be tolerated for short periods but over temperature can kill in quickly. Basilisks like to climb and hang off things and can jump across from branches to heaters so wire mesh guards should be fitted over all hot heat sources used in order to prevent thermal burns.
Gentle heat can be provided by using heat mats and more intense heat by spot lights or UV heat lamps. Your pet shop will advise on heating products and their use suitable for your green basilisk (another name for the same animal). Create a thermal gradient of 24-25°C at the cool end and 32-35°C at the hot end. Night temperatures can be dropped by a couple of degrees at both ends. There are various ways of achieving this end and different keepers have different methods. The important thing is the actual temperatures. We do it with a heat mat for night time, mounted on the vivarium wall at the hot end with a UVA basking lamp for increased daytime temperatures and natural lighting, using a dimming thermostat.
Plumed Basilisks are diurnal lizards and require UVB lighting to fully absorb and utilize the calcium in their diet. This light should be left on for 12- 14 hours in the day. The bulbs will need replacing from time to time and your pet shop will advise you. Different brands and types have different lifespans and just because a tube still lights up does not mean it is still giving out UV. UVB (at around 5-6%) is essential. Without it the basilisk will suffer..Using a UVA basking lamp helps stimulate natural diurnal behaiour and has the added benefit of bringing out the colour of the animal.
Plumed Basilisks require a high humidity of 65-85 %. This can be achieved by spraying the vivarium frequently (at least daily) with tepid water, or by installing a waterfall or automatic misting device.Substrate choice will also effect humidity throughout the day.
The floor of the enclosure should be covered with a suitable substrate, such as a mixture of coconut bark and coconut soil or orchid bark (bark chips) to maintain high humidity. As already stated provide a spot light or UV heat lamp for basking. Use branches to create areas to bask in and for climbing and shade. An area to shelter for shade and to prevent stress if your lizard wants to hide away. Plumed Basilisks love to be near water, they use it to escape if threatened in the wild, actually running across the surface, hence to local name of “Jesus Christ lizard” so a large bath should be provided for swimming, or at least for the basilisk to soak its whole body.
Cleaning and watering
Remove droppings, frequently produced in the bath and dead food daily. Baths, water and food bowls should be washed and cleaned daily. The enclosure is very warm and bacteria will grow rapidly in dirty water bowls. Vivariums should be completely cleaned out and disinfected with a pet-safe disinfectant regularly. How regularly depends on a lot of factors; substrate choice, whether there are detrivores used or in the case of bioactive set ups perhaps not at all. If not using a live set up then soiled substrate should be disposed of and replaced every couple of months. You can spot clean basilisk poop but I challenge anyone to spot clean cricket or locust poop! Over time this will start to make the vivarium smell if left too long. I don’t like vivarium deodorisers. If it smells then you are not keeping it clean enough.
Plumed Basilisks mainly eat live insects, of a size up to the width of their heads, but some will accept fruit and vegetables if offered. In the wild they will also eat fish, small mammals but it is not necessary to feed this in captivity unless you really feel the urge. Remember it is illegal and foolish to feed live vertebrates to another animal in the UK but frozen are available for you to defrost if you simply must. Don’t overdo it though as this can lead to obesity and laziness. Young basilisks should be fed insects once or twice a day with occasional fruit and vegetables. Once growth slows, appetite diminishes substantially. Adults can then be fed 3-4 times a week with more fruit and vegetables offered, if accepted, some just will not. Animal protein can be supplied as crickets, locusts, morio worms and very occasional pinkie mice. Wax worms should be fed sparingly as they have a high fat content. When feeding crickets feed a few at time; if they are eaten readily you can feed a few more. Loose, uneaten crickets annoy and distress them, particularly the black variety. Brown or “silent” rickets are less carnivorous but in large numbers will still nibble. Fruit and vegetables should be washed and dried before being offered in bite size pieces. All food should be dusted with a calcium supplement for fast growing juveniles, and two or three times a week for adults. Vitmain powder should only be used once a week. It is possible to overdose with vitamins (not calcium)
Plumed basilisks are fairly easily tamed and rarely bite once you’ve put in the work. Young lizards will be quite skittish however, particularly wild caught ones. We only sell captive bred anyway and these are generally much more docile. Movements to pick them up should be smooth, gentle but confident. If you go in with a shaky hand, hesitating and moving around to get the best angle then the basilisk will get nervous and probably clear off or if it can’t then that is the only time it is likely to bite in self defence. Once you have decided how you are going to approach, go in quickly but smoothly. To pick up your lizard place one hand above the shoulders and support the underside fully with the other hand. Keep the basilisk supported at all times, especially when young. It could “take off” at any time.
A healthy Plumed Basilisk should be bright and alert. Its body and legs muscles should appear well-formed and strong. Things to look out for are diarrhoea; this can be caused by incorrect feeding or internal parasite infestation (much more likely in wild caught specimens, another reason to buy captive bred). Nails may become overgrown and will need to be trimmed (we can trim nails for you). Mouth rot: cheesy deposits appear in the mouth. Respiratory problems: signs include fluid or mucus from the nose. Bone disorders: signs include twisted, twitching, swollen or paralysed hind limbs and a soft or undershot jawbone. This is due to a lack of calcium and/or vitamin D3. It can be reversed if caught in time and properly treated. If you are at all worried about the health of your basilisk you should consult a specialist reptile vet as soon as possible. Some reptiles can carry a form of salmonella. Salmonella is most usually contracted by ingestion. Good hygiene and washing hands after handling or cleaning your basilisk should be sufficient to prevent any risk of infection.
At Angell Pets we sell complete set ups for the Plumed Basilisk, including all the equipment, food and supplements you need to keep your animal healthy for many years. We are a five star licence holder and take the welfare of our animals very seriously, both in store and after they leave us.
We are always looking to increase the range of stock we hold in store in our Gloucester pet shop. We have just reorganised the shop floor again to enable us to get a new order of stock in this week. We have restocked with some old favourites that are popular with our customers but that we cannot get through our regular weekly deliveries from our normal wholesalers and we have also added some new lines. One of the new lines is actually both. It is a new brand to replace the brand we used to stock but can no longer get. Turns out to be the same product with a different label.
Komodo Nano Vivariums
These are our favourite enclosures at our Gloucester pet shop for housing tarantulas and other inverts. like mantids. They are glass, so easy to clean, well ventilated and stakable (for the larger collections. The larger sizes can also be used for small amphibians or reptiles (some of the smaller gecko species). We have stocked these before and they are always popular but due to minimum order levels are not always available.
Komodo Terraced Water Bowls
These heavy resin bowls will grace any vivarium. Will not be overturned by even the most active of lizards or snakes. We always sell out of these quite quickly. I have just found out the real reason they were on the order though. Billie wanted one to match the hides she has in her hognose viv. Cheek.
Hugs Dog Beds In Grape And Teal
We have a new range of Hugs dog beds in stock at our Gloucester pet shop in two attractive colours. These come in rectangular and oval formats and compliment our other ranges of beds already held at the store. Theyt are also very reasonably priced considering their stylish design.
Geo Range Of Cat Scratchers
This is a new product and we only have one model from the range in so we can make ourselves familiar with the product. They looked good in the brochure but we like to know what we are selling. From first look the model we have in stock looks like a winner and again is very reasonable priced as it is an activity toy as well as a scratcher.
Happy Pet Bird Toys
A return of a range of old favourites to our Gloucester pet shop. With a couple of exceptions, we have stocked all these toys before and they sell out quickly everytime. Good value and will keep the fussiest of birds occupied for hours. We also have a couple of new items to expand the range further.
Happy Pet Crafty Creatures Range
Back by poular demand, this range of soft dog toys in the shape of some of the animals we sell!. Spiders, geckos and chameleons. We also have Chuckie the chimp back in our Gloucester pet shop for the first time at Hucclecote.We stopped stocking him at Southgate Street because the drunks would continually set him off and it drove Bille mad. Not a problem we have now we are out of town thank goodness, so Chucky’s back.
Komodo Turtle Food Range
We stocked a very popular turtle food product range for a number of years. However the supplier became less and less reliable, to the point where we were finding placing an order a bit of a lottery as to what, if anything, we would recieve. We have been looking for a suitable replacement and have been disappointed with the alternative products. We saw this new range in the brochure and thought it looked good. Turns out it is the old product supplied under a their own brand name via one of our other suppliers. Result. We have limited numbers of each item this time round because we were not certain how good it would be. Now we know it is our old product, so popular with our existing customers we will order more next time.
We always have a range of different flavour jelly pots in store but now we have even more. All the favourites with some exotic additions like melon. Always popular with birds, reptiles and invertebrates.
We will obviously keep trawling the trade press for new and innovitive products to stock in our Gloucester pet shop so keep up to date by visiting the store, checking out this blog or our Facebook page, visiting our webstore or signing up to receive regualr updates. Of course you could do all of the above.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of our Gloucester reptile shop we have 10% off all Exo Terra and Viv Exotic vivariums for the rest of this week (until Saturday 13th July 2019).
Exo Terra glass terraiums make excellent enclosures for some of the higher humidity species we stock in our Gloucester reptile shop. Species such as crested geckos, frogs and other amphibians, chamleons and water dragons.
Viv Exotic are an ever expanding brand and make wooden, glass fronted vivariums with excellent ventilation, for anything from a Kotschys gecko, leopard gecko and other smaller reptiles, up to larger snakes and monitor lizards.
We stock both ranges of vivariums in our Gloucester reptile shop as well as all the ancillary equipment, the reptiles themselves and a good range of live, dried and frozen foods.
We also sell and can give expert advice on complete packages for all the reptiles and amphibians we have in stock and have access to even more by pre-order. Do pop in and see us in our Gloucester reptile shop. Out of town, with easy access by car or bus and with ample FREE parking in our parades large private carpark
We have two Exo Terra Mini Wide (30cm x30cm x 30cm) glass terrariums on offer as part of complet set up deals. These versatile small terratriums make ideal enclosure for a range of animals including spiders and other invertebrates, small frogs and small geckos (such as our Kotschys geckos).
As an example of price, a set up for an Asian jungle scorpion would total £60, including the Exo Terra terrarium, a heat mat, substrate, hide, water bowl and of course the scorpion. A Kotchys gecko set up would be £125, including the enclosure, canopy, UVB lamp, heat mat, substrate, water bowl, hide and gecko.
As the Exo Terra mini wide enclosures are made of glass, we cannot send them by courier and we do not courier any animals in any case. These set up deals are only available for collection from our Hucclecote store.
We take animal welfare seriously at Angell Pets We follow the top industry standards with our own animals and give our customers the best available advice and information so they can do the same. We also have contributed to animal conservation and welfare at other establishments and around the world. Our staff have worked on a projects locally with the Gloucester Wildlife Trust, across the UK, such as encouraging the re-introduction of otters to Birmingham and for the last few years at various locations around the world.
Africa Nature Reserve
George Angell (familiar in the shop to many of our customers) left the UK to help with work on Assumption and Aldabra for SIF (Seychelles Island Federation). Having worked on Rhino conservation in Africa during university, he was keen to get involved as soon as possible. Initially landing on Mahe – the main island in the Seychelles, George worked for a few months on supporting Black Parrot conservation. This work was a long term project, continuing after George left that was recently declared a success. He moved on from Mahe to the main focus of his work on the Seychelles controlled Atolls of Adabra and Assumption. These islands are so remote, even from the Seychelles islands themselves, that travel there is not possible all year round, so George contributed to the Mahe project whilst waiting for transport to be available.
Aldabra is a world heritage site and as such is an important and therefore protected environment. Invasive species of birds had made it at least as far as Assumption Island (40 km from the coral atoll of Aldabra) and an E.U. funded project was in place to remove these birds before they got to Aldabra (and to check how many may have already have got there and remove them).
George left to assist with the removal of these birds, helping to protect this important and unique habitat. He also did his own research for his dissertation toward his higher degree on the work he will be involved in.
Aldabra and Assumption are extremely remote islands in the middle of the Indian ocean. Situated 1100km south west from the main Seychelles Islands, Assumption is only 11 square kilometres. The only population are the scientists George is joining who go by boat to study Aldabra and support staff who maintain the landing strip. He was not be able to get there until October as travel is not possible from the Seychelles island of Mahe until then.
Below is an extract from the project brief outlining why the work was important and what it was trying to achieve and George’s part in it.
Under the European Commission’s (EC) Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy, the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) is implementing a 4-year project entitled “Mainstreaming the management of invasive alien species to preserve the ecological integrity and enhance the resilience of Seychelles World Heritage Sites” (‘the Action’) which started in February 2011. The overall objective of the Action is to develop and implement a strategic programme applying the ecosystem approach to limit the spread and reduce the impact of invasive alien species (IAS) in Seychelles’ World Heritage Sites (WHS). The Action is being coordinated and implemented by SIF, in partnership with the Seychelles Environment Department (ED) and National Parks Authority (SNPA), and with project associates Islands Development Company (IDC) and Island Conservation Society (ICS).
Under the project’s specific objectives, an eradication of avian IAS from Assumption of the Red-Whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus and the Madagascar Fody, Foudia madagascariensis is underway. Until recently, Aldabra was thought to be the largest island in the world with no introduced avian species but in 2012 both the Assumption introduced species have been observed in the eastern part of Aldabra. These species have long been considered the most severe threat to Aldabra’s avifauna, making their eradication an immediate conservation priority. SIF is therefore running two parallel bird eradications on these adjacent islands. Due to the unexpected invasion on Aldabra , more staff are being recruited to help ensure the success of these eradications.
Georges specific role in this project was as follows.
1. Eradication of all introduced birds from Assumption and Aldabra
2. Improved understanding of avian IAS ecology on Assumption and Aldabra
3. Continued trial of alternative eradication methods for invasive avian species
4. Elimination of the threat of avian invasive species to Aldabra’s ecosystem and outstanding universal values
5. Recommendations for restoration of avian fauna on Assumption
George’ duties also included catching their own food (to quote the organiser – “hope you like fish and rice”) and there were lots of opportunities to see the local marine life (he had invested in prescription scuba goggles). Fortunately he didn’t get to see some of it too closely (sharks, venomous snails, fish etc.) and got to meet the famous Aldabran Giant Tortoise very up close and personal. Assumption has an air strip that has to be cleared of tortoises before supply planes can land and so they are not all as friendly as those on Aldabra. George can vouch for that having been chased by “Terry” who’s head came up to Georges hip! He also made a trip across the island to an abandoned unfinished hotel where he had to construct barriers across the door ways to try to keep the robber crabs (giant land crabs) out of the gear – they steal everything!
Fishing for dinner on Assumption
This, as you can imagine, was a sort after placement and George had to interview and compete to get the post. We were very pleased to be involved in such a globally important project and wish the team still on the islands every success in their continued efforts to protect our environment.
After completing his term on the SIF projects George returned to the UK to complete his honours degree gaining a first. During this period he worked in the shop at weekends, providing our customers with the benefit of his growing knowledge base.
On completion of his degree he again looked about for conservation work around the world. There were a number of competing projects looked at, from the Antarctic to the Galapagos. In the end he opted for New Zealand.
New Zealand Office
New Zealand is a group of islands with an endemic population of flora and fauna This means the animals and plants of New Zealand are found there and no where else in the world.
Walking The Trails
As these species have evolved in isolation, they are vulnerable to the introduction of invasive competing or predatory species from outside the islands. Since man has reached the islands there has been a decline of endemic species, from the now extinct Moa (a large flightless bird, hunted to extinction by the newly arrived Maori people) to the endangered Kiwis and Kakapo (smaller flightless birds, brought close to extinction by predators introduced by European settlers to control the rats and mice they had already accidently introduced from their ships and initial supplies). George was to become involved in the control and/or eradication of some of these invaders, such as the Australian brush tailed Possum, the European stoat, ferret and weasel to name but a few.
He spent three years working towards the stated aim of New Zealand to become predator free by 2050 (with a couple of months out to train vultures in Spain to fly with tourist on paragliders!) As a falconer, he also captured, trained and released two Autralasian Swamp Harriers during his stay, being amongst a mere handful of people in the world licensed to do this.
After three years of this work George has returned to the UK where he is using his expertise to train upcoming animal carers, handlers and perhaps future conservationists at a college in Oxford. At the same time he is working for us back in the shop in Hucclecote on Saturdays where our customers can benefit from his knowledge and experience. We are very happy that Angell Pets staff are so involved in the promotion of animal welfare at such a range of levels, from giving advice on dog food to protecting some of the worlds most endangered species in the most hands on way possible.
Back Working In The Shop
So there it is. Just a little background on just one of the Angell Pets staff members. Perhaps I’ll do another log at some point on the relevant experience of the rest of us one day.
Following on from our move to Hucclecote we are now growing our list of livestock in store and available to order. Every now and then I post the current list. I don’t do it too often as it changes almost daily but a quick post of what we currently have is often welcomed by our customers.
We do not have birds or fish at present. We can’t stock birds until we have finished painting because of the fumes and the area where the fish are going has only just been re-plastered ready for the tanks to go in. Obviously the tanks have to be matured before we can put fish in them.
Please note this list is only what we have in store and does not include the much larger range available to order.
So here is the current list as it stands today, it will be changing tomorrow.
The New Year is well underway and we have a lot of new livestock in store and even more available to order. Every now and then I post what we have in our shop so now would be a good time for an update.