Baby snakes and two tortoises stolen from home for unwanted animals in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 13:47 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:30 07 April 2017
Two rare baby snakes and two tortoises have been stolen from a sanctuary for abandoned and unwanted animals in Ipswich.
Richard Wiper, 31, was alerted to the break-in at around 7.20pm on Monday April 3 at his home on Chaucer Road by his dogs barking at the back door.
He went out to see what had got them spooked them and to check the outbuildings at the end of his garden and was then punched in the face by one of the thieves who then fled.
He fell to the floor and was left dazed but unharmed.
Richard, who looks after an array of unwanted snakes at his home, said he is desperate to get the two baby Vietnamese Blue Beauty snakes and the two Horsefield tortoises back home as they need specialist care and a regulated diet to survive.
“There are around 50 people who have this kind of snake in the UK but with the baby ones I think we were the only people who have them,” he said.
“These snakes have been difficult with feeding, they have had to be hand fed and have only just started feeding on their own.
“The people who did this probably don’t even know what they have got.
“There is not a lot about them on the internet and they are kept in a different way.
“They pretty much need to be managed because they are still very young.
“I think they must have been the first things they came across, they grabbed the first two snakes they saw and then they were disturbed.
“Unfortunately for us they didn’t open the wrong terrarium.”
Richard said the break-in has left him feeling uneasy about leaving the house.
He said: “It makes me and my partner nervous, I am at the house most the time anyway bit don’t like the idea of leaving at all now.
“We now have a couple of people at the house at all times, it is watched 24/7.”
The snakes are described as non-venomous, blue in colour and are between 1ft and 2ft in length.
One of the tortoises is said to have a large chunk missing from its shell, and the other is described as having distinct pyramid shapes to its shell.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious behaviour in this area at the time specified, who may have knowledge of the whereabouts of the animals, or who can provide details of those responsible.
Anyone with information should contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting reference number 26818/17.