Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Concerns over I’m a Celebrity episode
“Any reptile expert would say the same: that the snakes’ reaction to their predicament was completely inevitable."

Challenge caused snakes psychological harm, charity says 

Animal charity Wild Welfare has raised concerns about physical and psychological harm to snakes in a recent episode of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

The charity said it believes two snakes were harmed during a challenge where a female contestant placed her hand into a small compartment containing the snakes, prompting one of them to lunge at her several times and appear to bite.

Field director and herpetologist Dave Morgan said: “This situation would have caused the snakes quite extreme physical and psychological harm. It was a highly stressful situation that did not allow the snakes the recourse of escape, so forcing them to react in the only way they knew how.

“Any reptile expert would say the same: that the snakes’ reaction to their predicament was completely inevitable. By intentionally placing the snakes in such a stressful situation, they were forced to attempt to bite. And for what? For sheer sensationalism. The animal’s welfare wasn’t the main consideration, it was shock value and viewer entertainment.”

Wild Welfare’s projects director, Georgina Groves, added: “It’s completely inappropriate to place any animal in an intentionally stressful situation like this, with no way of escape and the only option to act to defend themselves. It is unacceptable to deliberately cause animals harm in this way.”

Carpet pythons have small, solid teeth that face backwards in their mouths. Wild Welfare said it is likely they would have hooked into the contestant’s skin. When she then snatched her hand out of the compartment, the snake would have been pulled from the floor, dangled, then dropped from a height. It is thought this would cause several teeth to be snapped off or pulled out.

Being wrenched could also cause long-term spinal issues for the snake. Meanwhile, the charity said the contestant would likely have received only a superficial scratch or tiny skin punctures.

Groves said I’m a Celebrity has a “great opportunity” to educate people about unique species in a way that does not compromise their welfare. The charity has written to producers at ITV Studios to highlight its concerns over the episode and its ongoing use of wild animals.

ITV has been contacted for comment.

Image by Amos T Fairchild/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zooís reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSLís EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Membersí Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Membersí Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ĎA One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asiaí. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.