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The exotic creatures kept as pets in Cornwall

The exotic creatures kept as pets in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:31am 5th August 2018.

The weird and wild animals being kept as pets in Cornwall have been revealed.

Ostriches, leopards, camels and pumas are among just some of the exotic creatures showing up on a new map.

A survey conducted by the Born Free Foundation has revealed that 4,798 dangerous wild animals are being privately kept in Great Britain, at least 60 of which are living in Cornwall.

In Wales, there is an elephant licensed to be privately kept and in England, a giraffe as well as 14 wolves, 3 bears, 13 leopards, 3 cheetahs, 9 lions and 9 tigers.

Other species being kept as pets or in private collections in the UK included zebras, camels, fossas, antelope, and otters.

You can check all the wild animals being kept in Cornwall here.

Currently, under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976, anyone in Britain can keep a dangerous wild animal as long as they obtain a licence from their local authority.

The licence application only requires them to demonstrate that their animals are properly contained and not at risk of escape.

Now, the animal welfare charity is calling for a review of the legislation covering the keeping of wild animals as pets.

"There have been unfortunate circumstances where people have been killed. One person in the UK who owned a rock python ended up being killed by it.

"These animals haven't evolved to live in close proximity to people. They are not like dogs or cats. There is all sorts of stress they can go through. Our main concern is that their basic welfare needs are not being met."

Head of Animal Welfare Chris Draper

Chris believes many of these animals are bought online and that he has seen adverts of such animals being sold.

"There was a case of an emu being kept, illegally. They had bought a fertilised emu egg and it had hatched and it was kept as a pet".

Last year, a man in Hampshire was killed by his 8ft African rock python, Tiny.

In a separate incident, police found an illegally-kept 4ft caiman crocodile and 16 snakes at a property in Essex, nine of which were classed as dangerous. They included cobras and copperhead vipers.

Seven other snakes were found dead in the house as a result of the poor conditions in which they had been kept.

The charity is now calling on the government to make it harder to keep such animals without sanctions.

"The keeping of wild animals as pets is a growing concern.

"The widespread use of the internet has made it easier than ever to 'order' or purchase a wild animal without clarification as to where it has come from or how it should be cared for.

"Wild animals are particularly vulnerable to welfare problems because of their complex social, physical and behavioural needs.

"They require specific housing conditions, dietary requirements, and furthermore, the safety risk these animals pose to their owners and the wider public should not be ignored".

Chris Draper

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