Gloucester Pet Shop Increases Stock – Some Old Favourites, Some New Lines

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

gloucester pet shop

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

Gloucester pet shop

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

gloucester pet shop

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

pet shop gloucester

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

gloucester pet shops

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

gloucester pet shop

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

pet shop gloucester

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.

Jelly Pots

gloucester pet shop

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.

Gloucester Reptile Shop 10% Discount On Vivariums

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).

Gloucester reptile shop

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.

Gloucester pet shop

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.

gloucester retille shop

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

The Angell Pets Team

Gloucester Pet Shop 10 Years Old

Way back in 2009 I was coming to the end of my martial arts teaching career due a combination of injury and wear and tear. I was looking for something I could do as a career that did not involve working for someone else. I had had enough of that with previous employers and had been spoilt by being self employed as an electrician (which I hated) and a martial arts instructor (which I loved). It was whilst out delivering leaflets for my martial arts academy in Tewkesbury that I noticed that just about every every house (near enough) had some sign of animals. This one had a barking dog, that one had a cat flap, this one had a load of bird feeders, that one had a rabbit hutch. One even had a sign saying “beware of the snakes”! I have kept a huge range of animals throughout my life, have an honours degree in biology and have lectured on various courses on relevant subjects so even I was able to put two and two together and the idea of Angell Pets took form. I had no funding, no knowledge of how to start such as business or where to locate it but you don’t become a martial arts instructor unless you are quite driven. Within a few weeks I had resolved all the problems I could think of and formed a company and our Gloucester pet shop was born.

gloucester pet shop
We’ve had venus 10 years this year too.

I borrowed a lot of money against an old endowment policy I’d had for years, and incorporated the company on 23/06/09. We then found a suitable property close to home in Abbeymead, purchased all the shelving, tills and everything else you need for a shop, sourced suppliers, enrolled on the courses needed to obtain a licence, commissioned a website and jumped right in. The whole process, from forming the company to opening the doors of our first Gloucester pet shop took just under 6 months and we finally opened on 17th of December 2009.

gloucester pet shop

We stayed in our first shop in Mead Road for the next five years. Over that time we introduced new services such as free home delivery, a webstore, a new information website, a webstore and offers email list and our Facebook page. Despite being launched during a double dip recession, the business thrived and grew every month. Unfortunately, when the lease came up for renewal the landlord wanted the property back for themselves and we had to look for a new location quite quickly. We thought we had found a good new spot at the quays and managed to move the entire business across in only two days! (although there was a couple of months of late nights preparing the new premises and decorating the old).

Unfortunately we did not take into account the stupidity of Gloucester City Council who, at the behest of the Quays development and against the wishes of smaller local businesses, decided to close the local carpark and promptly killed our business overnight. This happened 6 months after we moved in and cut our takings in half. We were tied into a lease for a minimum of 3 years so spent the next 2 1/2 years just scraping by. If it hadn’t been for the launch of our boarding service we would have gone under. Thanks Gloucester City Council.

As soon as we were able to get out of our lease (not cheaply, it cost thousands) we did and found our current property in Hucclecote. The move was not so easy this time. Both properties needed a lot of very expensive works. The Hucclecote site was an old Barclays branch and their contractors wrecked the inside of the building taking out their kit, plus maintenance of the building had not been kept up. They also left behind the vault door which alone cost a few thousand to remove. Worse was the work we had to do on the old property. In order to implement the break clause in our lease we had to carry out a lot of remedial work. Every piece of wood had to be glossed, every wall emulsioned, every piece of flooring replaced (3000 sq ft), shutters that had not been touched in the the 20 years before we got there serviced, the roof cleared of years of debris and repaired where it had been damaged from people going up there without permission (now you know why I was annoyed when the rugby painting on the cafe next door was put up without any consultation with us – it cost me £450 in repairs). Unfortunately most of this work was a complete waste of time and money. We knew, even as we were carrying out the works that the new tenants were going to rip most of it out and sure enough, one week after moving I looked in to see half the new flooring pulled up and stacked ready to go to the tip.

Gloucester pet shop

It was whilst carrying out the remedial works (fitting the carpet tiles that are now buried in the ground at the landfill site) that I injured my spine. This is what was responsible for us having to stop our free local delivery service, I can no longer walk too well and lifting anything is out of the question. I managed to keep it going during the move, when we were operating from a storage unit but had no option but to cease it when, whilst painting a piece of skirting in the new shop I was unable to get up because my legs were too weak. After finally going to the doctors I have been diagnosed with a reasonably serious condition that is not going to improve. I also became quite ill last summer so Billie stepped up and has been running the company since, doing all the work that at one point we had six staff (including myself) doing. George has also been helping out when he can and even Albert stepped in during a break in his studies.

However, despite all the problems with recessions, leases, idiot councillors and illness lining up to hold us back, we have made it to 10 years of our Gloucester pet shop and are still going strong. To mark this anniversary we will be having lots of offers on between now and December in celebration. This will be in additon to, not instead of, our regular monthly deals we already offer. Ever since we opened we have made sure even our usual prices have remained competitive and with all the offers coming up, there will be some real bargains. Like our Facebook page or sign up to our email list to be kept up to date with the latest bargain.

So visit us in our Gloucester pet shop at Glenville Parade in Hucclectoe. Lots of FREE parking and right on the number 10 bus route.

The Angell Pets Team

Angell Pets involvement in overseas conservation

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.

angell pets conservation

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.

 

angell pets conservation

Mahe

angell pets conservation

Mahe

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!

angell pets conservation

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.

angell pets conservation

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.

angell pets conservation

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.

angell pets conservation

Time Off

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.

angell pets conservation

Vulture

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.

angell pets conservation

Working Hard

angell pets conservation

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.

The Angell Pets Team

Angell Pets Current Livestock List

Time to post a new current livestock list for Angell Pets Hucclecote store. All are on our website but it’s good to put everything in one post from time to time. I have added a couple of “coming soon” items this time as the arrival of these animals is fairly imminent (next week or the week after). We are a little light on spiders this week  but we will be getting some more very soon. I haven’t added these to the list as I haven’t decided which we are getting yet.

Invertebrates

  • Fruit Beetles
  • Deaths Head Cockroach
  • Madagascan Hissing Cockroach
  • Headlight Cockroach
  • Indian Stick Insect
  • Giant Spiny Stick Insect
  • Giant Prickly Stick Insect
  • Dwarf White Woodlice
  • Tropical Grey Woodlice
  • Giant Orange Woodlice
  • Argentinian Star Tarantula
  • Cameroon Red Baboon Spider
  • Flame Rump Tree Spider
  • Guyana Goliath Birdeater
  • Hati Hati Purple Tarantula
  • King Baboon Spider
  • Malaysian Earth Tiger
  • Mexican Red Rump Tarantula
  • Togo Starburst
  • African Land Snail
  • Giant Malaysian Shield Mantis *COMING SOON*

Amphibians

  • Alpine Newt
  • Whites Tree Frog
  • Albino Horned Frog *COMING SOON*

Reptiles

  • Rankins Dragon
  • Chinese Water Dragon *COMING SOON*
  • Leopard Gecko “Montanus”
  • Madagascan Giant Day Gecko
  • Kotschys Gecko
  • “Kastanie” Corn Snake
  • Milksnake
  • Kenyan Sand Boa
  • Common Boa
  • Carpet Python
  • “Chocolate” Royal Python *COMING SOON*
  • Marginated Tortoise

Birds

  • Timineh African Greyt Parrot
  • White Faced Cockatiel
  • Grey Cockatiel
  • Budgerigar
  • Java Sparrow
  • Zebra Finch
  • Yellow Canary
  • Orange Canary

Mammals

  • Fancy Mouse
  • Dumbo Rat
  • Syrian Hamster
  • Gerbil
  • Guinea Pig *COMING SOON*
  • Lion Lop Rabbit

Fish

  • Coldwater *COMING SOON*
  • Temperate *COMING SOON*
  • Tropical *COMING SOON*

Please note our list changes daily. For example if I had writeen this before opening this morning it would also have contained guinea pigs in stock and a Yemen chameleon, so please get in touch to see what we have in our Angell Pets Hucclecote store on any given day. Alternatively visit our website.

 

The Angell Pets Team

Up to date livestock list

Our extensive list of livestock changes daily so I don’t usually have time to post up to date lists. However once in a while I do post what we currently have in stock by way of a marker. Here is our current list. However by tomorrow this could well have changed. See our website for some of what we stock and contact me to find out if we have what you are looking for. Please note we have access to far more than we have on our website or on this current list and that ALL our animals are captive bred – no wild caught.

Birds

  • Cockatiels (coloured and grey)
  • Rainbow Budgies (coming Thursday)
  • Zebra Finch
  • Java Sparrow
  • Blue Canary
  • Yellow Canary
  • Red Canary (coming Thursday)
  • Chinese Painted Quail
  • Conure

Small Mammals

  • Syrian Hamster
  • Fancy Mice (female – coming Thursday)
  • Dumbo Rats
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Ferret (last one this year)

Amphibians

  • Axolotl
  • Gold Tree Frog
  • Horned Frog

Reptiles

  • Crevice Spiny Lizard
  • Emerald Swift
  • Bosc Monitor
  • Red Iguana
  • Uromastyx
  • Crested Gecko
  • Flame Crested Gecko
  • Leopard Gecko
  • Chinese Cave Gecko
  • Tokay Gecko
  • Bearded Dragon
  • Panther Chameleon
  • Hermanns Tortoise
  • Common Musk Turtle
  • Corn Snake (hypo masque, anery, amel, ghost, sunglow)
  • Milksnake
  • Common Boa
  • Kenyan Sand Boa
  • Spotted Python
  • Royal Pythons
  • Carpet Python
  • Hog Nosed Snake

Invertebrates

  • Assassin Bug
  • Ghost Mantis
  • Miomantis
  • Hercules Beetle Larvae
  • Carpenter Ant Queen
  • Deaths Head Cockroach
  • Madagascan Giant Hissing Cockroach
  • Indian Stick Insect
  • Giant Spiny Stick Insect
  • Giant Prickly Stick Insect
  • Wood Nymph
  • Asian Jungle Scorpion
  • Flat Rock Scorpion
  • Brazilian Red Rump Tarantula juvenile
  • Brazilian Black Tarantula juvenile
  • Giant White Knee Tarantula spiderling (large)
  • Mexican Red Leg Tarantula spiderling
  • Mexican Red Knee Tarantula spiderling
  • Giant Orange Knee Tarantula spiderling (large)
  • Curly Haired spiderling and juvenile
  • Metallic Pink Toe Tarantula spiderling
  • Costa Rican Tiger Rump Taratula adult (M&F)
  • Santa Catalina Big B… Tarantula juvenile
  • Chang Mai Earth Tiger spiderling
  • Malaysian Earth Tiger juvenile
  • Chile Rose Tarantula spiderling, juvenile, sub adult and adult (M)
  • Northern Gold Tarantula sub adult
  • Indian Violet Earth Tiger spiderling (large)
  • Vietnamese Blue Earth Tiger spiderling (large)
  • Sulewesi Black Earth Tiger spiderling (large)
  • Hati Hati Purple Earth Tiger juvenile
  • Red Slate Ornamental juvenile
  • Indian Ornamental adult (F)
  • Venezuelan Suntiger spiderling
  • Bahia Scarlet Birdeater spiderling
  • Columbian Giant Birdeater juvenile
  • Togo Starburst Baboon Spider juvenile
  • Usumbara Red Baboon Spider juvenile
  • Stout Legged Baboon Spider spiderling (large)
  • King Baboon Spider spiderling
  • Feather Legged Baboon Spider spiderling
  • Blue Footed Baboon Spider spiderling (large)

Fish

  • Calico Oranda
  • American Flag Fish
  • Paradise Fish
  • Albino Paradise Fish
  • Leopard Danio
  • Clown Loach
  • Platy
  • Molly
  • Siamese Fighting Fish
  • Guppy (F)
  • Corydoras
  • Flame Tetra
  • Lemon Tetra
  • Cherry Spot Rasbora
  • Norman Lamp Eye
  • Golden Panchax
  • Black Widow Tetra
  • Blind Cave Fish
  • Columbian Tetra
  • Dwarf Blue Coral Gourami

Molluscs

  • Red Onion Snail (aquatic)
  • Yellow Rabbit Snail (aquatic)
  • Giant African Land Snail (terrestrial)

 The Angell Pets Team

Reptile boarding, small animal and bird boarding takes off at Angell Pets

Reptile boarding was one of the few services we were unable to provide our customers from our old Angell Pets shop in Abbeymead. There simply was not enough space in a secure part of the building to accomodate the necessary enclosures and equipment. One thing we are not lacking in our new premises is space. We now have an entire extra upstairs floor that has enabled us to increase stock holding (we never had any storage space before either) and install a range of vivaria, enclosures and bird cages to enable us to offer reptile boarding, small mammal boarding and bird boarding services to our customers.

 

reptile boarding

One Of Our Reptile Boarders Being Fed

We have built up a reputation as Gloucester’s premier pet shop and were constantly being asked by customers if we could provide reptile boarding for their animals as they trusted us with their beloved pets. Not only had they come to know us and recognise the years of experience we have with a wide range of animals, they also knew that our senior team is the most qualified around. All have completed, as a minimum, either an industry recognised apprenticeship or higher level City and Guilds animal management qualification. Two are also educated to honours degree level in biology and animal science.

We have now completed fitting out  a reptile boarding facility upstairs along with enclosures for other animals and birds and have already taken bookings. We have our first visitor with us at the moment. All reptile boarding facilities are secure and complete with temperature, humidty, lighting and control equipment relevant to the reptile requiring looking after. We are also equiped to take small mammals, inverts and birds. You can use our enclosures or bring your own to reduce the stress on more nervous animals (subject to disinfection upon arrival).

We take bio security very seriously and all enclosures in our reptile boarding facility are scrupulously clean and are disinfected (using F10 and anti mite treatment) between uses (and during longer stays) and staff are trained in ensuring no cross contamination occurs during feeding and cleaning times. No animals are admitted to the facility that show signs of disease or infestation.

All animals in our reptile boarding and other animal boarding facilities are checked at least twice a day and fed, watered or cleaned as appropriate. We have a high level of knowledge of most animals and have the back up of one of the best reptile vets in the county.

Reptile boarding or boarding of other animals is arranged by telephone or visiting the shop, although you can see prices etc. on our webstore

Reptile Boarding (single animal)

Reptile Boarding (multiple animals)

Small Mammal Boarding 

Rabbit, Guinea Pig and Ferret Boarding

Bird Boarding

So, if you are lucky enough to be going on holiday or if you need to have a stay in hospital or are going to be working away and you need a reptile boarding service or boarding for other animals please give us a call. You know your animal is going to be looked after by the best professionals around.

Angell Pets Reptile Boarding in particular is booking up fast so please don’t leave it too late. We do have some capacity to expand the service further but it takes time to get all the equipment in place.

 

Ninja turtles all over again

A new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film is due for release in October this year and the responsible trade is already taking steps in advance to avoid the problems caused last time round.

In the wake of the last round of popularity for this movie franchise, thousands of yellow bellied turtles, red eared sliders and cooters were sold, essentially just cashing in on the popularity of the films. Unfortunately parents were giving in to the demands of the kids without fully appreciating the high levels of equipment, care and maintainance these fairly large turtles require. Irresponsible traders have to bear a lot of blame too for not ensuring the prospective owners knew exactly what they were getting into. Many were selling 50p sized turtles in small tanks without all the necessary equipment for healty growth and without making clear to the the new owners just how big they were going to get and the size of tank required by an adult.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

As a result, this combination of lack of parenting skills and lack of care from sections of the trade has resulted over the years in sick turtles with MBD and malformed shells and also rescue centres, newspapers and more recently online sites awash with unwanted pets.Probably worst of all, canals and ponds found themselves with new residents as owners who haven’t appreciated what the word responsible means just dumping theirs where they can.

In light of what has gone on before and knowing that often we can talk till we are blue in the face about tank size, UVB requirements, filtration, basking spots etc. but the person in front of us is just not listening, we have decided not to sell any of these species from now until at least a year after the release of the film. Actually we haven’t stocked any yellow bellies or their like for a couple of years but we do get requests for them from time to time. We already get offered unwanted ones on average once a week and the film is not even being promoted yet. This action is inline with calls from REPTA to get importers to agree to a 12 month moratorium on sliders, cooters and other unsuitable species, which we fully support (although we do not sell wlid caught animals anyway).

One last thing I think needs saying. The last childrens’ film involving animals I took my kids to the cinema to see was G Force (the one with the guinea pigs). I was disgusted to see a sales display for guinea pigs from a well known pet supermarket (you all know the one) directly opposite the cinema screen exit, in the old Cineworld in Gloucester. Trying to capitalise on the pester power of kids in this way is just wrong. When they are hyped up on soft drinks, popcorn and sweets and have just seen a high action film is not the time to decide to buy an animal that is going to live for several years and have very specific care needs.These are living animals we are talking about, not sweets at a checkout. Lets hope they won’t try and pull any stunts like that with this new film.

 Please do not buy any animal just because it featured in a film. Do your research first and find out, in advance, what is involved with its lifetime care and remember some animals are going to outlive you if looked after properly. If in any doubt about the long term commitment do not buy. If you are unsure what is involved come and ask us. Ninja turtles are not real, real ones need looking after.

The Angell Pets Team

Balkan Green Lizard Care Sheet

Balkan green lizards (Lacerta trilineata) are part of a group of related species ranging across Europe and western Asia. The eastern lizards of this grouping are slightly larger than their western cousins and a bit bolder too. This aside, care is very similar for all species. Balkans have a reputation of being less damp tolerant than some of the other species such as Lacerta viridis.

balkan green lizard

Housing

We would not recommend keeping more than one of these lizards in an enclosure. Males will fight and females, whilst more tolerant, may do so as well unless the enclosure is quite large. Keeping a male and female together outside of breeding may also risk injury or stress to the smaller female as well, if she cannot get away from him.They have been kept together succesfully in a suitably large enclosures by experienced breeders but why take the risk? This care sheet is aimed at the beginner/intermediate keeper and does not cover keeping large breeding colonies which require very large enclosures (up to 20m2 in some cases. Green lizards can be kept outside through the summer but I am not covering that here. Needless to say cage security is a big issue with keeping them outside).

We would recommend a wooden (or glass) vivarium of around 30″ – 36″ x 18″ x 18″. You can use a smaller 15″ cross section but I just find that restricts the view and reduces the lay out a bit. I do like naturalistic, display vivs so tend toward larger vivs for display purposes.

Substrate

A variety of substrates can be used. Some people have used sand – I don’t. The risk of impaction is higher and whilst easier to seive I find it will smell dirty, quicker than other substrates. Beech chips are fine but I find them a bit utilitarian for my taste. Orchid bark chips work well (if you are worried about swallowing of bark pieces then use a coarser grade). There are several newer products coming along all the time that work really well. I like Pro Reps Tortoise life substrate for these lizards. I place some at one end of the viv and blend into orchid bark for the other two thirds, banking this up over a piece of cork bark which acts as a hide and as structure for the layout. Damp moss under the hide will produce a more humid microclimate that helps with shedding. The additional depth of orchid bark acts as an anchor for upright fake plants (Exo Terra and Komodo’s Boston Ferns for example). A few well placed rocks (I use Red Jasper) improve the look further and help keep everything in place. the Torrtoise Life encourages natural digging behaviour. You could use something like Tortoise Life (a clean, pathogen free “soil” type substrate) across the whole viv. Green lizards like to dig and burrow so make sure it has some depth to it (5cm is OK).

Lighting

Green lizards are diurnal so require UVB lighting. A 5- 6% tube or compact UVB lamp will be sufficient to ensure production of vitamin D3 and so uptake of calcium from the diet. This will avoid metabolic bone disease and some other nasties that these li\zards would otherwise be prone to.

They will also benefit from a basking spot lamp. We use one that produces some UVA light as this helps promote a natural circadian rhythm. Don’t have one that is too powerful for the size of your vivarium and ensure that the lizard cannot come into contact with the lamp (a guard may be necessary to ensure this). Incadescent lamps produce a lot of heat as well as light so (especially in a wooden vivarium that helps keep heat in) a method of ensuring that the lamp does not overheat the viv is essential. This normally means a dimming thermostat.

Heating

In addition to a basking spot lamp we use a heat mat to provide background and overnight heat although in a hot summer this can be switched off. The basking spot (on during the day) should not exceed 40C at the hottest point (a rock directly under the lamp would be good) and the cool end of the viv wants to be around  20C during most of the year. The lizards will benefit from a lowering of temperature during the winter however. If you are looking to breed this is essential to stimulate breeding behaviour in the spring. when the temperature increases again. Overnight the temperature will drop with the basking lamp switched off. This is not only acceptable but desirable to reproduce natural conditions. Around 20C at the hottest point overnight would be good. Maintaining a gradient across the viv to allow thermo regulation during the day is the key.

A thermometer is an essential piece of kit. A basic dial type is sufficient. I don’t use these. Not because they don’t work, they do but because I have a lot of vivs and that’s a lot of thermometers, I prefer to use an infra red “point and press” thermometer. More expensive if you only have one viv but cheaper if you have lots. Much more accurate too as you can take surface temperature readings at any point across the temperature gradient (hot side to cool side). If you don’t have one of these then two dial termometers, one at each end will do. Just remember that the temperature on the back wall of your viv will be less than that directly under the basking lamp so a reading of 30C is sufficient. Adjust whatever thermostat you are using to the reading you get from your thermometer and don’t worry too much about what the termostat setting says, worry about what temperature you are actually acheiving.

If using a heat mat I would, in this case, place it on the wall of the viv rather than the bottom. The substrate will be too deep and will insulate the heat mat, possibly to the point of creating a dangerously hot spot if a fault develops in the mat. If you wish to use a ceramic heat emitter instead of heat mats that would be fine but again make sure the lizard cannot touch it – they get very hot to touch.

Feeding

Green lizards are insectivores. We use a wide variety of cultivated insects. Crickets form the mainstay. They are very active and encourage natural hunting behaviour. We vary these with locusts, some morio and mealworms and occasional waxworms and fruit beetle grubs (the smallest ones we can find). Dust the insects with calcium and occasionally with vitamin powder containing D3 (We do this once a week) . Since we feed our insects throughout the week to keep them alive on our shelves for our customers, ours are gut loaded anyway so we do not have to worry about that. Just remember, whatever you feed your insects you are feeding to your lizard in the insect’s gut so you can supplement your lizard’s diet that way.

Do not use insects captured from the garden. They could carry parasites or diseases, could have been feeding on a neighbours plants that have been sprayed with something etc. I know people do it and do not have problems. However my response to this is my mother in law smokes 20 cigarettes a day and is in her eighties and in good health, However I wouldn’t recommend it to your children. Enough said.

A water dish is obviously essential. Occasionally a lizard will use it to bathe in as well as to drink. Make sure the water is changed regularly as in the warm environment bacteria will grow very quickly and these lizards do occasionally use the water bowl as a toilet!

Handling

Green lizards are fast and can be defensive. Handling is not always easy. If you lack confidence then use a glove until you gain some. It is harder to hold the lizard with a glove on but easier to catch it in the first place so I wouild recommend removing the glove once caught. Holding the lizard across its shoulders with the first two fingers and under its chest with the thumb means is cannot get away and cannot bite. Always grab the lizard near its head when catching it and NEVER grab its tail. Like a lot of lizards (although no where near all) they display caudal autonomy – the ability to “drop” the tail. This is a defence against predators. Whilst the predator (or you) are stood looking at the still wriggling tail the lizard has hot footed it to safety. Whilst in green lizards the tail does grow back it never grows back looking as good as the original and losing its tail in this way is stressful to the lizard and to you!

Disease

Green lizards can all suffer from an highly infectious disease called viral papillomata which can appear as a black growth on the skin or in the mouth. It is always fatal, although it can take years to develop. This is really a disease of wild populations and a lizard obtained from disease free captive stock will not get this condition unless intorduced to diseased individuals. My first reptiles were a pair of European Green lizards (Lacerta viridis). I obtained them seperately. The second one had the disease and subsequently both died of it. This was however, “Ahem,” over 40 years ago  so both would have been wild caught individuals and these days, thanks to improvements in care, restrictons in capturing and moving wild animals and excellent breeders any you find for sale are likely to be disease and parasite free, captive bred lizards.

 

Cleaning

Spot clean daily – take out any poop you can see with a bit of tissue. If you do this daily and are thourough, you should only have to replace the substrate every three months or so. If you do not do this regualry then the vivarium will start to smell quite quickly and the substrate will need replacing more regularly.

After removing the substrate disinfect the vivarium with a good quality reptile disifectant. As we have a wide variety of animals (reptiles, mammals, birds) we are currently using F10 as it is safe for everything we stock (obviously not fish!!!) but there are others avaiable. Do not use household disinfectants. Many contain toxic phenols (the distinctive TCP smell you get in some famous household disinfectants).

As already mentioned, clean the water bowl regularly (daily is best but at least every two days). This should be disinfected each time as this is likely to prove the dirtiest part of the set up (everything will collect there, lizard poop, drowned crickets, bits of shed skin, bacterial scum etc).

It shouldn’t really need saying but I will say it anyway – always wash your hands after handling your lizard or anything inside the vivarium. Reptiles can carry E.coli and salmonella bacteria and you really do not want a dose of salmonella. In the weak it can be fatal but even in healthy individuals it is embarrasingly unpleasant, incredibly painful and debilitaiting. Don’t take risks, get some anti bacterial hand cleaner.

 

The Angell Pets Team

 

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The Angell Pet Team