Experts say iguanas would not survive a British winter outdoors
A gardener has told of his shock at coming face to face with an iguana as he trimmed his hedge.
The 18in (46cm) reptile is now being cared for by an expert after Bryan Harris called the RSPCA to his home in Mumbles, Swansea.
Attempts are being made to trace the lizard's owner and to find out how it came to be on the loose.
Iguanas can grow more than 5ft long (1.5m) and RSPCA inspector Neil Manley said they do not make very good pets.
He said: "The man said he was cutting the hedge when he suddenly saw this great big lizard sat on it. [Read more at site]
Besides the Iguana an escaped Milk Snake made headlines in 2006.
19 April 2006- An escaped snake caused mayhem at a grocery store in Swansea when it became trapped within a metal door.
The non-venomous snake was striking out at customers at the Costcutter in the city's Townhill area over the weekend.
A local snake expert and his wife had to be called to extricate the 3.5ft milk snake.
Geraint "the Snakeman" Hopkins and his wife Yolande had to remove the letterbox to recover the snake, which later died from injury and illness. [Read more at site]
Vaireties of Milk Snake are found all over America and are popular pets.
Pythons stolen from garden shed
09 Feb 2006
Police are hunting thieves who have taken 22 young python snakes from a reptile breeder's garden shed. The snakes, described as "gentle" and no threat to people, were grabbed from a house in Birchgrove, Swansea. The royal or ball pythons, measuring 18in to 2ft (45-60cm) in length, were kept in 14 boxes with lockable lids. [Read more at site]
There are in Swansea like all over the UK a large number of reptile fanciers. You can judge some of the extent of this hobby from these adverts:
Of course the vast majority of exotic pet owners are responsible people, who care for their animals and this respectable side is typified by Exotic Pets Magazine, but there are some rogue people out there keeping animals illegally in bad conditions. The RSPCA is calling for tighter controls on the sale and ownership of dangerous wild animals as you can see here: Exotic animals
There have been a number of Big Cat sightings in the Swansea area especially round Margam. One of the latest is here:
I Came Face to Face With a Big Cat in Swansea Valley South Wales Evening Post: 29th June 2007