Bearded Dragon In England Kicked Like A Ball By Youngsters; RSPCA Is Looking For Them

October 12, 2015

This isn’t Clockwork Orange. A bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) in Harlow, Essex in England was apparently used as a football by four “white boy thugs” in a park October 4 and the police are looking for them. According to The Mirror, four boys in their early teens were seen playing a game of keepy-uppy with a bearded dragon last week in a park in the town, each apparently taking turns kicking the hapless lizard in the air around 25 times before being confronted by a witness who reported the abuse to the RSPCA. 

“I was walking my dog and I saw them kicking something and I heard them laughing,” the witness told the paper. “I thought it was a football or bean bag at first then I saw the tail. I walked a bit nearer and was sickened when I saw it was an animal. They were kicking it to head height and must have kicked it at least 25 times. I was horrified.”

The woman picked up the lizard and said he wasn’t able to move his legs or tail, and opened his eyes about 30 minutes after she grabbed him. 

The bearded dragon was rushed to a veterinarian in the town. The vet named him Bruce. Bruce was x-rayed and despite showing no broken bones, the vet thinks that he may have suffered spinal damage as he cannot yet move his legs or his tail. It is now a wait and see if the apparent paralysis is temporary. 

“This was a sickening, cowardly attack on a defenseless creature, the RSPCA said in a statement. "It’s horrible to think that these youngsters appear to be getting pleasure out of deliberately hurting an animal. It’s really important that we find the youngsters who did this and would urge anyone with information to call us.” For those of you in England who may have information, contact the RSPCA at  01279 306058 or email: rspcastortvalley@ntlbusiness.com

John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 


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