There is little demand in Sai Kung for exotic creatures such as tarantulas, scorpions and snakes, apparently. O Tau resident KK Kwok has closed his exotic pets shop opposite McDonald’s after about four months of trading. The shop had racks of cages and glass enclosures with crabs, chameleons, frogs, iguanas, toads, geckos, beetles, centipedes, tortoises and turtles. Asked why he deals in wildlife imported from all over the world, KK said, “I love animals.”
Now the shop has been shuttered, what will happened to the creatures? KK has another shop at Prince Edward Road, Mongkok, and the unsold animals will presumably go there. The business can be lucrative: KK was offering Aldabra giant tortoises for $40,000.
The SPCA responded to BUZZ’s story about the exotic pets shop with a message expressing concern. Dr Fiona Woodhouse, deputy director, said the wildlife trade “is problematic from a conservation and welfare perspective”. Dr Woodhouse provided links to SPCA reports, saying the business is riddled with organised crime, some transported species have a 90 per cent mortality rate and the prices of creatures from point of capture to point of sale can rise 50 times.
KK said he has been in the wildlife trade for 20 years and is licensed to deal in the animals by the AFCD. He said international rules for the transporting of animals are strict. Details of each animal’s importation have to be approved by the AFCD. If you watch KK in his shop it is obvious he does take a caring attitude to the creatures.