Keith displays some animal magic

Keith Ross feeds his porcupines
Keith Ross feeds his porcupines

Keith Ross’s Motherwell flat looks unassuming from the outside, but step inside and it houses a menagerie of exotic creatures.

While most people are happy with a dog or cat as a pet, since childhood Keith has been fascinated with more unusual members of the animal kingdom.

Keith, who lives in Highfield Crescent, shares his home with all manner of snakes, lizards, turtles, spiders, beetles and even has porcupines living in the back garden.

He said: “I used to be into fish and then I upgraded to reptiles when I got my own house.

“I like things that are uncommon, I like to be different, other people buy dogs and cats, I buy snakes and lizards.

“You are supposed to start off small, but I jumped straight in as I like the bigger species.

“I’d like more space, but the neighbours haven’t mentioned them, and it’s the good thing about these sort of animals is they don’t make any noise to disturb anyone.

“I buy my animals from all over Britain, and sometimes I do a deal with the pet shops and they put them on their shipments from Indonesia.

“There’s still a lot of debate as to whether or not these animals form a bond with their owners, but I would say in my experience the bigger lizards definitely do.

“You can even train them, you get them to come to you and sit, the bigger ones will play fetch, although none of mine are capable of that.”

Keith has set up Keith’s Reptile Parties to share his collection.

He said: “There are more snakes and lizards than cats and dogs in the UK nowadays, but people are scared of them for no reason.

“There is no reason for fear and that is what I’m trying to get across, to be honest it’s adults who are worst and hang back, but the kids are right in there and eventually everyone holds a tarantula.”