An exotic pets shop has opened opposite Sai Kung McDonald’s selling everything creepy, crawly and slithery imaginable. Snakes, crabs, chameleons, frogs, iguanas, toads, geckos, beetles, scorpions, centipedes, tarantulas, tortoises and turtles are all available at KK Kwok’s new store.
Asked why he is in the business for selling wild creatures, KK answers simply, “I love animals.” He does seem to take a caring attitude because he was spraying the chameleons, used to living in tropical rainforest, with cool water when we walked in. KK lives at O Tau with his girlfriend and business partner who did not want to be named. He says he has been in the exotic creatures business for 20 years and is a registered trader with the AFCD. KK has one other exotic pets shop at Prince Edward Road, Mongkok.
Here are some of the creatures you can buy in the store that used to be a Swissbeck bakery:
— Coconut crabs from Japan, priced at $2500 each
— Veil chameleons from the Middle East, $450 each
— 25 kinds of snakes from Europe, US and Asia $300 to $2000
— Tree, ground and water frogs, including moss frogs from S. America $100 to $1500
— Red Chinese toads and Miyako Japanese toads $380
— Cave, leave tail and day geckos from Africa and Asia $150 to $3500
— Madagascar iguanas and banana spiny tailed iguanas $350 to $8000
— Walking hunting beetles from Africa $150
— Forest scorpions from Asia $60
— Centipedes, Vietnam and Peru giants and banded leg $150 to $4500
— Solomon pink and trap door tarantulas from Asia $250 to $350
— Aldabra giant tortoises $40,000
— Japanese box turtles $3500 to $7000.
BUZZ asked KK how he ensures the creatures are comfortable during the long hours when the shop is closed. His girlfriend said ventilation, temperature and humidity are all controlled. Each animal has lights for warmth, ultra-violet or simply light as well stones, rocks, branches and pools according to its needs. Boxes of crickets and worms are on the floor — food for the other creatures.
How do they ensure when creatures are air-freighted from Africa or S. America that they are not cruelly treated? KK said, “Hong Kong is very strict. The specifics of every shipment have to be approved by AFCD”. Also he said IATA lays down specific conditions for transporting each type of creature.