Golden Tegu – Tupinambis teguixin

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The Golden tegu is not as large is its southern relatives, but in some ways does not make a better a better pet for it. It can be a little more unpredictable and more difficult to handle then the Red tegu, or the Black and White. The fill grown size of the Golden tegu is around 60-90cm and is a very impressive lizard. They are stocky, powerful and have claws and jaws that can tear flesh easily. This species naturally occurs throughout the topical forests of northern and central South America. A large sturdy vivarium will be required for this species. A vivarium constructed of melamine faced chipboard is not recommended – they damp conditions required means the longevity will be short and also this means escapes are easy for…
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Cuban Treefrogs – Osteopilus septentrionalis

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A very large treefrog species that originally occurred in Cuba and the Bahamas - however it is now regarded as an invasive pest throughout many of the southern States of America, most famously in Florida, but into Southern Carolina and Louisiana and other states too. I often see individual reports of sightings much further north - it is reported this species pops up in areas it's unlikely to survive due to the colder climate. These sporadic sightings are likely to be due to hitchhiking in commercial shipments - although the pet trade is also blamed. In the USA there is official advice to euthanise any individuals found, to stop the spread. The size of this species, along with their tendencies to eat smaller frog species accounts for the mass encouragement…
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Keeping Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata)

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Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) are a harmless European water snake widely distributed throughout Europe, North African and the Middle East. As it is a water snake, its primary habitat is around ponds, slow moving streams and lakes – but also found around human habitation such as irrigation channels and tanks. Although classified as harmless it’s reported to have a well developed gland in its mouth that produces a mild neurotoxin and produces a potent antihemorrhagin in its serum. However this is highly unlikely to effect humans. They also void the contents of their vent, which is a smelly defence. This species when I was a child, was a common pet snake – along with the related Grass and Viperine snakes. I remember visiting pet shops where a tank would be…
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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands Burgers Zoo, named after the original owners, opened in 1913 and I one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. It is a mix of old and new, like many old European zoos, but does not have many of the original buildings. There are several themed areas, when I visited I enjoyed many of the sections including the oceans, bush, desert, mangrove. Safari and the newest, Rimba (South Eastern Asian Rainforest). Much of the signage is supplemented in English too. The ocean section has two large tanks, each 3000000 litres, and in total there is 8000000 litres – sharks, state of the art coral and tropical fish. My least favourite exhibits were the gorillas and chimpanzee enclosure - this has altered little since it was built…
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