RSPCA appeal for information

The RSPCA is appealing for information after more than 20 exotic reptiles including caiman a type of crocodile and an anaconda were found in a garage in London.

The vast majority were dead and it is believed the animals had been abandoned and just left to die six months before.


The bodies were found in the enclosed storage space in Victoria Court, Brook Avenue in Edgware last Friday (11 December). They included two caiman a type of crocodile, two monitor lizards, one gecko, three iguanas, five tarantulas and several types of snake – including an anaconda and a juvenile python.

The only surviving reptile was a rat snake, who has now been taken into specialist care.

RSPCA inspector Nicole Broster said: “This was a shocking and gruesome discovery which will stay with me for a long time to come.

“This garage had been unused for six months and we think the animals had been left there since then – without the food they needed or any of their needs taken care of. I am amazed even one of the snakes survived really.

“Many of the animals were not just dead but severely decomposed – it was horrible.

“We urge anyone with any information at all on this to come forward and let us know, in complete confidence, on 0300 123 8018.”

Nicole added: “This was such a callous way to treat these animals, but sadly reflective of a lot of the issues surrounding exotic animals in this country.

“Sadly the RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect and abandonment of reptiles as for many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment. We would encourage people who are thinking about taking on an exotic pet to research the needs of the particular species thoroughly and ensure they can meet them at all times for the whole of the animal’s life.”

Caring for reptiles can be challenging and expensive; the animal may grow very large, live for a long time, become aggressive or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold. They have not been domesticated and so have the same needs as those still living in the wild. In captivity, reptiles must have their needs met by law under the Animal Welfare Act.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our Inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).