A Good Samaritan was driving through a parking lot in St Albans, England when he spotted a glass tank on a patch of grass. The tank looked filthy, and he thought it was a discarded box. But, on getting closer, he realised someone was living inside the tank. It was a bearded dragon!
Sadly, he was abandoned without any food or water.
When he called the RSPCA, they immediately agreed to help the dragon. While they didn’t know how long he had been abandoned for, he wasn’t completely unhealthy, which was a good sign.
According to an exotics officer in the RSPCA, Nicola White, abandonments like this happen all the time, especially to reptiles.
“The number of calls the RSPCA received about reptiles rose 20 percent over the past five years and sadly we are regularly being called to collect reptiles, like this poor bearded dragon, that have been abandoned, or neglected, presumably because owners no longer want them or cannot care for them properly,” White said in a statement.
Bearded dragons are commonly known as ‘starter pet,’ yet they need a lot of expert care and commitment. While they can live up to twelve plus years, they can also grow as large as 20 inches as an adult. They have particular temperature and humidity requirements and also need a lot of live insects, fruits, and vegetables daily to remain in good health.
“They are commonly found for sale in pet shops and online,” White said. “However, it is sadly often the case that they are handed over to buyers with very little or no information about how to care for them properly, or the commitment that is involved in keeping them healthy.”
The little lizard was lucky that it wasn’t too late for him. Right now, he is recovering from the stress with a reptile specialist. He will soon be up for adoption.
Things could have been much worse for the dragon, but thankfully, he was found right on time.
“Reptiles are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs, which include the need to be provided with the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet for the particular species,” White said. “If you do find yourself in a situation where you can no longer look after your pet, there are options available.”
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