The young opt for reptile pets

Updated: 2007-07-24 14:30

A girl plays with a little water snake, twined around her arm, at a night market on a downtown Yantai market, east China's Shangdong Province on Sunday night, July 22, 2007. []
More and more young people in China have become obsessed with reptile pets, like little water snakes, mini-crocodiles and lizards, as traditional pets like cats and dogs are now considered outdated.

According to Tuesday's reports, over 100-thousand people across the country have registered as online members of a "strange pets" forum over the internet.

The website report says that one reason why people adopt reptile pets is that they love them dearly and just regard them as up-close. What's more, keeping such a strange pet can satisfy their need to express their own unique personality and novel take on today's "fashionable" society.

A fashionably dressed girl, for example, was seen playing with a little water snake, twined around her arm, at a downtown night market in Yantai, east China's Shangdong Province on Sunday Night, the website reports.

A shopkeeper at the market said most of his customers are young people, especially girls. Such reptile pets never bite because they are tamed, he added.

However, a surgeon expert warns that it is dangerous for people who are unfamiliar with the nature of reptile animals to keep pets like snakes and lizards, because their innate aggressiveness cannot be gauged from their appearance. He said such reptile animals may carry pathogens and helminthes that are harmful to human health.

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