REPTILES

For lost and found tortoises, please visit our Tortoise specific page

There are six species of native reptiles in the UK, three are snakes and three are lizards.

Snakes   Lizards
Grass Snake Common or Viviparous Lizard
Adder or Viper Slow-worm
Smooth Snake Sand Lizard

There are also many exotic reptiles, kept as pets, in the UK.

Adder Bites

Read our Guide here on what to do and what not to do if your pet is bitten by an adder. 

If You Find An Injured Reptile 

Always be 100% sure of your identification before handling any reptile, particularly snakes. If you are at all unsure, leave the handling to an experienced rescuer. You can find details of local rescues on our Rescue page, or for Reptile Specific rescues see below. 
If you are confident to pick it up, wear thick gloves and do so gently. 

In the case of snakes, put into a cloth bag/sack or pillow case and tie the top closed. 
NEVER ATTEMPT TO PICK UP AN ADDER

Reptiles such as tortoises can be placed on a towel inside a cardboard box.

If in any doubt, contact a local Vet or contact a Rescue for help

Cat Attacks

Reptiles can suffer small but serious puncture wounds in cat attacks, which can fast become infected and will need urgent veterinary treatment. 

Caught in Garden Netting

If you find a reptile caught up in garden netting, do not just cut it free and let it go.
It is possible it will develop pressure necrosis, a serious condition, which can take up to a week to develop, after being caught in a ligature.
Do not attempt to cut the reptile free as this may cause more stress. 
Put the reptile and the tangled netting into a bag or box, as per the instructions above and seek urgent veterinary treatment.

Compost Heaps

Reptiles are attracted by the warmth of compost heaps and can suffer fork or spade injuries if you are unaware of their presence. Take care when turning over compost and if you find you have inadvertently injured a reptile, seek urgent veterinary treatment.

The UK Law on Reptiles

British Reptiles are protected. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that it is illegal to kill, harm, injure or trade in any species. Two of our native species are endangered – so it is vital to leave them alone, unless they need help. All British reptiles are listed as priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Reptile Rescues

For more help and advice, contact one of the following organisations: 

RSPCA Reptile Rescue
Braypool Lane
Patcham
Brighton
Bn18zh
07815525578
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Berkshire Reptile Rescue
Furzemoors
Bracknell
Berkshire
RG12 7HT
07930 247329

Surrey & Hampshire Reptile Rescue
For rescue/rehome or just advice
Mandy on 07476 202030
For tortoise, terrapin, turtles etc. 
Lisa on 07983 923237