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Top three exotic pets for Christmas

   23 December 2016   l   Justin Steyn    l   Views: 71   


Celebrate Christmas by owning a rather unique pet. Photo: Kingsnake.com

Instead of the usual dog, cat, goldfish or hamster, why not get that special animal lover something exotic — that is if they would be open to something out of the ordinary.

For our Christmas edition, The Post spoke to Twanet van der Linde of the Jedtwa Wildlife Centre at Bela-Bela about her top three recommendations with regards to exotic pets.

Van der Linde said that the choices she provided were assessed on temperament, handling, feeding and housing.

First on her list is the leopard gecko. According to her, this bright yellow lizard is not only beautiful, but very easy to maintain.

The leopard gecko mainly feeds on a diet of silkworms, meelworms and a variety of fruits, so its food is very cost effective.

“The average life span of these reptiles are from ten to six years. They can be housed in an aquarium and need only to be offered a hiding place to seclude itself,” she said.

Van der Linde’s second choice refers to a pet of the creepy crawly kind.

She said that curly hair tarantulas are not only cost effective, but can also be handled more than other tarantulas due to their docile nature.

“I have used my curly hair tarantulas as show spiders at schools. They have never bitten any of the children. These animals also feed on small insects and require only a fresh supply of water each day as they do not eat often,” she said.

Lastly, Van der Linde recommended a creature of a slithery kind.

According to her, the Dumeril boa is a python that is very docile and tolerates being handled more than other snakes do.  

“Most snakes are shy and do not like to be handled a lot. However, these snakes are quite placid and would rather retreat than strike at their owners, so it is an excellent first snake if a person has a fear of being bitten.”

Van der Linde concluded that she chose these pets due to their docile nature with humans and cost effectiveness; thus they would make excellent pets this festive season.




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