Murdoch menagerie

Dr Peter Ricci and Dr James Haberfield run a new service catering for exotic and unusual pets. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d411375
Dr Peter Ricci and Dr James Haberfield run a new service catering for exotic and unusual pets. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d411375

The sightings are due to Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital’s new dedicated facilities catering for exotic pets.

Murdoch University veterinary graduates James Haberfield and Peter Ricci run the new service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8am and 6pm.

‘My collection comprises well over 100 reptiles, covering approximately 20 species, from large pythons to tiny geckos, and a few exotic parrots,’ Dr Haberfield said.

‘Peter has an even more impressive menagerie than me. He’s kept all types of birds available in WA, from large parrots to most breeds of chickens, and he’s an award-winning guinea pig breeder.’

Dr Haberfield said he supplemented his knowledge by spending time with exotic animal veterinaries across Australia.

‘It takes a long time to learn and become confident with the unique requirements of unusual animals,’ he said. ‘You can see a huge range of health problems and diseases, from a parrot eating his owner’s ear rings to guinea pigs with dental problems.

‘Reptiles can be especially challenging to look after, especially due to the amount of misinformation.’

Dr Haberfield said the clinic was fitted with specialised equipment, including cages, micro-surgical tools and a ventilator.

‘The adoption of unusual and exotic pets is growing in Australia, especially with houses becoming smaller and people wanting a pet that doesn’t necessarily need a backyard to run around in,’ he said.