Ryan's reptile obsession

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Nov 27, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

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  • BUILT TO SCALE: Tamworth man Josh Ryan with his pet ridge-tailed monitor, one of 10 reptiles he keeps at home. Photo: Barry Smith 271113BSG02

NEXT time you complain about the weekly dog food bill, think of Josh Ryan.

The Tamworth man, whose menagerie of oddball pets includes five pythons, four giant lizards and two turtles, spends more than $300 a month feeding them.

The pythons munch through a mountain of rabbits and rats each month, while his lizards dine out on a smorgasbord of crickets and mice.

But forget what’s on the reptile menu, most people are far more curious about another question.

“The one thing people always ask is how does my partner live with it,” Mr Ryan said.

“She doesn’t really like touching the snakes but once she realised how passionate I was about reptiles, she was good with it.”

The 23-year-old’s freaky pet obsession started when he bought his first turtle at 17.

“They’re just something different and not many people have them,” he said.

“You can watch them for hours – they’re amazing animals.

“I even want to open my own reptile park one day.”

Dave Mann from Tamworth Pet Centre said the city’s thirst for 

unusual pets seemed unquenchable.

“It really is a growth industry; you’d be surprised who’s got them and how many there are out there,” Mr Mann said.

“Reptiles are new to Tamworth but people have really embraced them.”

In addition to reptiles and traditional pets, the store also sells silkworms, scorpions and even giant burrowing cockroaches.

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