RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a lethargic bearded dragon was found abandoned at Moss Valley Park in Wrexham.
The reptile was found in some undergrowth by the car park and was found to be very unwell.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Phil Lewis said: “This poor bearded dragon was found by a member of the public on Sunday (22 March). He was extremely lethargic, cold and flat – which is a sign of being seriously ill.
“He was taken to a specialist exotic vet and it was touch and go if he will make it through the night due to his condition. Sadly on Monday (today) the independent vet made the decision to put him to sleep due to his poor body condition.”
Sadly it is not unusual for the RSPCA to be called to collect an abandoned reptile.
Phil added: “We believe many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on.
“We would urge prospective owners to thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal, using expert sources, and only consider keeping one if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs.
“We completely understand that we are currently entering some uncertain and difficult times, however, there is no excuse to abandon an animal. Please call us for help and advice.
“I would appeal for anyone with information as to who abandoned the bearded dragon to call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Most exotic animals kept as pets are unlikely to be able to survive in the wild in Britain and non-native species could pose a serious threat to our native wildlife. It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) to release, or to allow to escape, any species that are not normally native to the UK.
Reptiles may look resilient and tough on the outside but they are actually completely reliant on their owners to provide the correct environment for the species, including heating and lighting, and an appropriate diet – all of which are essential to keep them healthy and allow them to carry out their natural behaviour. Without proper care they become ill or suffer and, in severe cases or if left untreated, they can die.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you can no longer look after your pet, there are options available. You could contact the original seller or a local reptile rescue centre for help rehoming your reptile if you feel you are no longer able to care for them.
For more information about keeping bearded dragons visit the RSPCA website
During this difficult time as our priority is always to help animals in need. We are already experiencing strain on our centres and frontline due to Covid-19 and this will worsen in the weeks ahead. To help the RSPCA to keep rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming though this challenging time, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.