Shelter Me: Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary

Saturday, October 13, 2018
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Shelter Me: Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary. David Murphy reports during Action News at 9 a.m. on October 13, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is a small animal rescue in Lancaster County run by Jesse Rothacker.

"We share our house with about 100 reptiles," says Rothacker.

And that includes the backyard, transformed into a garden home for about 20 different turtles.

"They're called box turtles because they open and close like a box," Rothacker says.

The side yard is tortoise territory.

"The main type of tortoise we get here at the rescue is called an Africa Sulcata Tortoise," says Rothacker.

The rescue is now trying to raise money to expand their yard.

"We'll be able to give our tortoises about four times the amount of space to graze and bask," Rothacker says.

A big part of the mission for Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is educational, which means getting these creatures out into the community.

"We get to pack up our super green turtle machine, and we get to invade schools and churches and libraries and birthdays and share our passion," says Rothacker.

A Burmese Python named Casper is one of the rescue's animal ambassadors.

"He was originally found abandoned in a New Jersey junkyard," says Rothacker.

There's plenty of reptiles looking for good homes.

"This is a Ball Python, they are actually a great exotic snake to have as a pet," says Rothacker.

He came from a caring home in Philadelphia, and aside from a weekly frozen mouse treat, Rothacker says snakes are pretty self-sufficient.

"He lives in about a 40-gallon tank. He has a warm side, a cool side. He just needs fresh water and a little TLC," Rothacker says.

Then there is a red and orange corn snake.

"She usually looks even more beautiful than this, but she is about to go into her shed cycle," says Rothacker.

She's full grown and will likely live another five to ten years.

The Dumeril Ground Boa is from Madagascar.

The boa is near adult size, but Rothacker says he will never completely stop growing.

"It's a very friendly snake, also a very powerful snake. This is not a very good beginner snake," says Rothacker.

For more, visit the Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary website.

If you have a shelter story you'd like us to share, post a picture and some details on one of our social pages. Be sure to use the hashtag 6abc Shelter Me.


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