A walk on the Wildside Wildside is Newport's only specialist Reptile Shop, owned and managed by Tom and Bernie Casey.
Tom has been fascinated by reptiles for 35 years. He was just 13 when his interest began. At one time he had as many as 200 pet reptiles at home kept in a purpose built shed ...but also in the living room. He has been involved with the little shop on Baneswell Rd for 18 years, first as a customer and then as the owner
Wildside Reptiles is an extension of Tom's hobby and in the summer of 2006 Tom married Bernie - who has also discovered a love for reptiles, and is now just as involved as well!
The business is quite small; He wants to keep Wildside small, to ensure there is always quality time to care for the animals. He breeds his own stock and so can give the history of each animal to a potential buyer. This is very important to him. He isn't there to make money out of the business but to learn and give sound advice to potential owners on the care and wellbeing of each animal, the object being to sell the right animal to the right person.
Tom believes that anyone interested in keeping reptiles should buy captive bred ones, not wild-caught animals which have been imported and perhaps transported many thousands of miles. The health and cleanliness of the animals are uppermost in the mind of Tom. Cages get cleaned every day. He has the right equipment and the right food supplies for each of them and works in conjunction with a vet in Cardiff who specialises in the health of reptiles. They exchange ideas and update each other on new research.
Tom himself specialises in breeding ball python morph's which have become very popular. In 2014 he has also invested in a super dwarf reticulated Python breeding project. The most popular reptiles sold as pets are bearded dragons, leopard gecko's, royal python morph's and tortoises, but the resident adult red foot Tortoises attracts a lot of attention. At one time Tom went into schools to talk to young children about reptiles so that they may learn from a young age not to fear them. Tom has also travelled to see reptiles in the wild, in particular, to the Australian rainforest.
Tom and Bernie, will be delighted to show you around their shop, tell you about the various reptiles on show, and provide help and advice on choosing and caring for a reptile pet.