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Revealed: The dangerous and exotic animals being kept in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 May 2020

An ostrich, one of the dangerous animals kept on private premises in Norfolk Pic: Archant

An ostrich, one of the dangerous animals kept on private premises in Norfolk Pic: Archant

Archant

While many of us will have spent lockdown gripped and baffled by the antics of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin in the hit Netflix documentary Tiger King, some East Anglian residents boast unusual creatures of their own.

Ziggy the Zebra who lives in Norfolk.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018Ziggy the Zebra who lives in Norfolk. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

While thousands of families in the county will have cats, dogs and fish for pets, some have been far more diverse in their choice of animal companions - with one private property holding more than 100 beasts.

A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed just some of the exotic animals that are living in households in our region, including ring-tailed lemurs, camels and zebra.

Local authorities require owners of certain animals to apply for licences to keep them, which are renewed on a yearly basis under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

Generally these animals will be wild cats, primates, wild dogs, certain pigs and marsupials, but dozens of other animals are included within in the act.

A household in the Great Yarmouth area owns a ring-tailed lemur. This one lives at Banham Zoo.  Picture: ANTONY KELLYA household in the Great Yarmouth area owns a ring-tailed lemur. This one lives at Banham Zoo. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Among the licences held in the authorities that have responded to request is a private property in Southwold and Cobholm ward of the Great Yarmouth borough at which ring-tailed lemurs are kept.

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One private property in the King’s Lynn area however has a much broader selection of animals.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council currently has two active licences - one covering 20 black buck antelope and a second covering more than 100 animals.

Wild boar on a farm in Norfolk. Picture: Nick ButcherWild boar on a farm in Norfolk. Picture: Nick Butcher

This licence covers 50 black buck antelope, 20 sitatunga antelope, 20 lechwe antelope, six bongo antelope, four tapirs, 10 oryx, 10 blessbock antelope, 10 waterbuck, 10 eland, 10 wildebeest and 10 zebra.

In North Norfolk, the owners of one property hold a licence which allows them to keep camels and tapir.

In the Buxton ward of Broadland, one dangerous wild animal (DWA) licence is currently active, with the site currently homing three ostrich - one male and two females - and one wild boar.

In previous years it has also been revealed that clouded leopards were kept in the Breckland area, however the council is yet to respond to the latest request to confirm this was still the case.

The only local authority in the area to not have a single active DWA licence is Norwich City Council.


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