Two reptiles dead after freak flood at exotic animal shop in Telford

Two exotic animals have died after a disastrous flood at a shop in Telford.

Ed Scott, right, was helped out by Ryan Jordan of the Exotic Zoo
Ed Scott, right, was helped out by Ryan Jordan of the Exotic Zoo

Edzotics owner Eddie Scott had only three days before moved into the basement of the shop in Market Street, Oakengates, when a pipe burst in one of the properties above.

"I was woken up to a phone call on Thursday from the lads in the café saying a pipe has burst and it’s flooded all the way down to my shop and they thought it might be destroyed," said Eddie, who opened his shop in 2020 aged just 18.

"So I rushed in as soon as I could, unlocked my door and I was instantly standing in about five inches of water."

Being exotic animals like geckos and snakes they need heat - sometimes even extreme temperatures of 50C - to stay alive and Eddie rushed to get them some emergency heat in the corridor where there was light and electrics.

His immediate concern has been for a leopard gecko which had been floating on top of his plant and a juvenile royal python that was fully submerged in the water.

Eddie, who used to do work experience at Telford's Exotic Zoo, called on senior keeper Ryan Jordan, and they were more than willing to help.

"The flood was devastating, it was a mess and looked like the Titanic going down," said Ryan.

"We helped Ed to find his feet and he has been fantastic in starting the business.

"We are happy to help and there is no rush for him to have the animals back - for us it is just a few extra mouths to feed."

There had been some 20 animals at the shop but sadly two have died since the rescue, a baby leopard gecko and a bearded dragon. The zoo is looking after about 17 of the creatures while Ed has taken a couple home.

Ryan said: "They could have died because of the cold or from water on the lungs."

And as far as the business is concerned, Eddie's Christmas trade is now at risk.

The shop certainly won't be open again until well into the new year.

One of Eddie's bearded dragon

But there is a glimmer of hope. He has been offered temporary space in another business, but needs to be able to transfer his exotic animal licence to cover him at the business.

And Ed is also thinking about getting a crowdfunding page up and running as trading losses are not covered by insurance.

"If I can't trade it will be massive," said Ed who lives in Muxton, five minutes away from the shop.

"I am relying on it and had orders ready to fulfil." He says his landlord has agreed to wait for shop rent payments.

Ed has found friends and supporters rallying round since the flood and posted on his Facebook page: "I just wanted to say massive thank you to all the lads in the cafe and their family and friends who helped limit the damage as well as they could and all the other shops in the mall coming in to help.

"A massive thank you again to Exotic Zoo because without them I’d be in a situation where I wouldn’t have a place to put the animals but also wouldn’t have the equipment to keep them alive and I can now be assured that they will be well looked after until I can get it all sorted.

"Thanks to everyone and I really appreciate it and hopefully will be back open in a couple weeks."

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