Record number of rescued reptiles find a home in Pairi Daiza

Record number of rescued reptiles find a home in Pairi Daiza

A record number of 741 reptiles were rescued in 2022 by the Pairi Daiza Foundation shelter. Le Soir reports that many of the reptiles were abandoned by their owners or confiscated by authorities to obey the decree regulating the sale and possession of reptiles.

The Pairi Daiza Foundation's mission is 'see, love, and save' by drawing attention to the biodiversity in the community and creating a lasting commitment to nature's conservation.

It tries to limit the number of abandoned reptiles by educating potential buyers on the difficulties to take care of the animals. The materials needed to ensure the health and safety of the animal can be expensive for a family.

"It would be better not to buy this kind of animal without thinking it through," said Pascal Dortu, the manager of Pairi Daiza Foundation. "People think that they are doing the right thing by handing the animal over to a 5-star shelter, but this is not the solution."

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The Foundation shelters hundreds of reptiles, even some endangered species. When sheltering endangered species of reptiles, the animal becomes part of their breeding program. The animal is quarantined for 40 days and is then able to 'contribute to the preservation of the species.

Pairi Daiza has 15 ongoing projects, one being the reintroduction of a native amphibian. The shelter has been breeding the yellow-bellied toad that disappeared in the 1980s in Wallonia and plans to reintroduce the species into the wild.

The shelter continues to receive animals that have been maimed or are in bad health. A turtle that had been 'scalped' by a lawnmower was brought to the shelter, instead of being taken to a vet.

The Foundation hopes that the number of abandonments will decrease over time as mentalities change for the better.

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