Because of rising energy prices in the UK, more and more reptile owners are giving up their pets. In the first three months of this year, more reptiles were left for care than in all of 2021, the head of the National Center for Reptile Welfare (NCRW), Chris Newman, told the BBC.

“Finance is obviously the biggest problem. People are afraid they can no longer afford to heat and feed the animals,” Newman said. An NCRW study found that 80 percent of those who give up their animals acted for “economic reasons”.

In the UK, basic energy costs rose 54 percent as of April 1st. The increase had already been decided before the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine – another drastic increase is expected in the autumn.

Many reptiles require continuous exposure to high-energy heat lamps. Above all, the maintenance costs for bearded dragons are very high. There has been a significant increase here, according to the NRCW, based in Tonbridge, southeast England.

In central England, the organization Proteus Reptile Trust also registered significantly more pets given up as well as animals placed in cardboard boxes and outside of pet shops. The animal protection organization RSPCA fears that the situation will worsen given the rising energy costs.