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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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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”