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Public urged not to buy exotics online
“Sugar gliders look incredibly cute and people might be tempted to buy them as pets..."
Pair of sugar gliders found abandoned in London

The RSPCA is urging people not to buy exotic pets online, after a pair of terrified sugar gliders were found abandoned in an animal carrier in north-east London.

A member of the public took the pair to a veterinary clinic in Leyton last week (24 July), having found them in a little carrier inside a wooden nest box by some bins.

Vets believe there is one male and one female but were unable to check the creatures thoroughly, as they are so terrified they scream when humans approach.

The sugar gliders, which are about the same size as small hamsters, were taken to a specialist exotics facility for emergency care.

RSPCA inspector Kate Ford said: “Sugar gliders look incredibly cute and people might be tempted to buy them as pets but they need very specialist care to look after them properly.

“For this reason the RSPCA does not believe that sugar gliders are suitable to be kept as pets, as we do not believe it would be possible to adequately meet their needs in a typical household environment.”

Sugar gliders are nocturnal and arboreal, meaning they spend their lives in trees and can glide for 50m or more, which is very difficult to recreate in a typical household environment.

The case is the latest in a string of recent call-outs to the RSPCA involving exotic animals, including emus, raccoon dogs, primates and even caiman. The charity is urging people to resist the urge to buy exotics online, where they are readily available.

Image © RSPCA 

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.