Slideshow: Dr Dolittle from the Fens opens reptile shop
A DR Dolittle from the Fens has finally realised his boyhood dream of owning a reptile shop that also rehomes unwanted reptilian pets. An avid herpetologist since he was a teenager, David Johnson had filled his home with exotic creatures native to the wor
A DR Dolittle from the Fens has finally realised his boyhood dream of owning a reptile shop that also rehomes unwanted reptilian pets.
An avid herpetologist since he was a teenager, David Johnson had filled his home with exotic creatures native to the world's most extreme climes - as well as a few dogs and rabbits.
He opened his new shop DK Reptiles in Wisbech earlier this month and has a policy that he will only sell to suitable, informed owners and will also take in animals that might otherwise be abandoned.
Mr Johnson, 33, said: "This is a way of life for me; this isn't just a shop; this is what I've been doing for 15 years. At home I have geckos, rabbits, scorpions, toads, tortoises, cats, dogs, birds, fish, lizards, stick insects... I've been like this all my life."
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Two years ago Mr Johnson was unemployed, but with financial backing from the Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Service (NWES) and business advisory service Armageddon, he opened the reptile shop with his partner Katie Boughen. The shop sells pets including snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes and lizards, and pet supplies and vivariums.
Mr Johnson is currently caring for an unwanted iguana called Gandalf and nursing a baby bearded dragon who was attacked by its sibling.
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Also in the shop is B, a two-year-old emerald tree boa, a pet belonging to Mr Johnson.
"I have a natural love of animals," he said. "It's like when a football supporter sees their team lift the FA cup - I get that feeling seeing B.
"The hairs stand up on the back of my neck."
# DK Reptiles is at 9 Union Street, call 01945 580566.