About Dean Thorpe:Lover of animals of all kinds
My many pets
I have always been mad about animals, growing up we had a few cats and dogs, but always found animals interesting. The first pet we bought after I left home and got married was a corn snake, one that I still have 17 years later, a good age for a corn snake!!!
Over the years I have had many pets. At the time of writing this (December 2018) I have a Squid the Parsons Jack Russell Dog, Rex the Corn Snake plus Badger, Moley, Cobweb, Weasel, Onyx and Opal who are all Rats! I the past I have had Roxy the Royal Python, Simon the Bearded Dragon, lots of Rats, a few Degus, Stick Insects of all kinds, a few Spiders and even some very normal Fish. There are very few animals that I have any fear of and those are purely for practical reasons, I know that handling venomous snakes and spiders is dangerous, so I would fear that, the same if I got put in with a Tiger or Lion, I’d be very nervous.
Knockhatch Adventure Park
I used to be very involved with Knockhatch Adventure Park in Hailsham, East Sussex, the place where many of the photos below were taken. I had a deal with them, I’d take great photos for them to use free of charge, in exchange I got to have better access to them than the normal visitors. My favourites were the Meerkats, I remember going in and playing with . . . I mean photographing some 7 week old Meerkat Pups (babies), they were amazing and so ridiculously cute!!! Meerkats do bite, but nothing bad, no worse than my pet Rats do. I got to handle most animals that they had there, including Yogi, who was a 12 foot long Burmese Python. Yogi was a constrictor, if she had wanted to she could have put the same amount of pressure onto my body as parking a small car on it. I felt no fear when handling her, I knew that Snakes only attack for one of two reasons. First that they are hungry and then they will only attack things small enough for them to eat, I was much too big for that. The other reason is to defend themselves or their family, I made sure I never gave her any reason to be scared of me, I kept her very happy and relaxed, so I had no fear when holding her. I do know that Yogi is no longer there.
One day I'd like to return to Knockhatch and taking photos for them again, but my health has been far from ideal the last few years, I do miss being around all those animals.