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Posted by W von Papinešu on August 20, 2002 at 17:08:41:
GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO (Cheltenham, UK) 09 August 02 Lounge Lizards Upset Rspca
A nightspot owner is under fire for displaying live lizards in his new club.
The four Tokay geckos are in a vertical glass tank in The Lizard Lounge, above Montells in Tewkesbury High Street.
But the idea of lizards being subjected to thumping disco music, flashing lights and a smoky atmosphere has upset animal welfare groups.
An RSPCA spokesman said: "We are very concerned that exotic animals are being housed in a nightclub environment.
"We are opposed to any animal being used for entertainment purposes if it inflicts pain and suffering on that animal.
"Animals need to be kept in a way that is in accordance with their natural requirements, in terms of shelter, environment and stimulus.
"Tokay geckos can feel vibrations so the enclosure would need to be completely soundproofed and protected from people knocking into the tank.
"Exotics need specialist care and a nightclub is far from an ideal environment."
A spokesman for Vale Wildlife Rescue, based at Beckford, near Tewkesbury, also had concerns.
He said: "I would be surprised if the geckos would live very long. The vibrations, light, atmosphere and noise would be pretty hard for them to contend with."
Lizard Lounge owner Scott Mansfield says he does not believe the South East Asian reptiles will suffer. "I have been assured it is not cruel," he said.
The lizards were supplied by Cheltenham firm Aztec Reptiles.
Owner Ty Milsom said they would not be bothered by being in a nightclub.
He said: "They don't really hear as such and they are almost immune to human activity."
Tokay geckos cost around £15, can live for 20 years and grow to be a foot long.
They are nocturnal and like humid conditions. They are excellent climbers.
They eat crickets, mealworms, cockroaches and other worms and insects. Males can be aggressively territorial.