Reptiles and amphibians are among the most common pets, kept around the world. Also known as ‘Herps’ among the enthusiasts and breeders, reptiles and amphibians are also among the most spectacular animals in existence. Reptiles include turtles, lizards, and snakes, and amphibians include frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.
Millions of households around the world own at least one reptile or amphibian. In India, they fall into the category of exotic pets and you will require to check if your state/country regulations to see if it’s legal or not.
Many reptiles have a long lifespan and gradually, the once cute reptiles, grow big and require proper husbandry to take care of them. Even if they are scaly or feathery or even furry, knowing how long an animal lives and how big they grow are very important. With herps, specific species care information should be researched before getting one home to keep. Reptiles are generally low-maintenance pets as they require less attention compared to a cat or a dog.
Reptiles are cold blooded or ectothermic and don’t require to be fed every day, unlike your furry pets. They aren’t domesticated but trained and doesn’t require much space to keep. There’s a Wow! factor to reptiles as they appeal to kids and many adults. It’s their exotic — some people consider it almost alien — demeanour and appearance that never cease to fascinate.
There are plenty of reasons for people to keep reptiles, and there are plenty of reptiles that make great pets. And to anybody thinking about keeping a pet reptile, remember this: Do your research first, and ask only for a pet you know you can care of properly. If you don’t do that, you and the reptile could end up having bad experiences. If you see a reptile you like, read about it, learn all you can, and then approach your parents and or other members of the family. Tell them why you think that reptile is perfect for you, and perhaps they’ll agree.
The author is a wildlife biologist with specific interest in herpetology and conservation