Events / Exotics / Lizards / News / Snakes

Hanley pet shop The Unconventional Menagerie restarts Wild Time Animal Club for children

A pet shop in Hanley is set to reintroduce a club for children that teaches them all about exotic animals like lizards, snakes, turtles and skunks.

The Unconventional Menagerie is bringing back its Wild Time Animal Club after the original club closed in 2015 when it was overwhelmed with visitors.


Co-owner of The Unconventional Menagerie, Christian Castille from Fenton, originally set up the club to invite youngsters to learn about unusual animals from all over the world such as cobras and meerkats.


The pet shop has held around 16 talks a month for schools and other educational groups since it opened in October 2016.

The sessions were held at The Hub in Fenton and ran from January to December 2015 but Mr Castille said he and his staff could not cope with the huge amount of interest so the sessions had to stop.

The Wild Time Animal Club will start again this evening (February 28) and the first one is already fully booked.


Sessions are set at 30 children per evening and run from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday evenings, bimonthly.

The young visitors will learn about classes, be given an introduction to the shop, learn water biology and how to set up tanks for exotic animals.


Mr Castille opened the shop alongside Ben Warden, from Leicester, and Mike Potts, from Lancashire, and will soon be expanding the space to create a classroom for these new Wild Time Animal Club sessions.


Christian, who has a pet fox, also plans to teach children how hand-rearing animals to be released back into the wild will work.

He said: “They’ll be learning chemistry without even realising it.”

“If you can get respect for smaller things like animals, you’ll get respect for larger things in life.”


“They’ll learn how to detach themselves from animals once they’ve become bonded.”

The shop has more than 300 animals – from millipedes, frogs and snakes to tanukis and meerkats.

Sessions are £3 per child and more information is on the shop’s website and Facebook pages.


Images by Georgia Hallett


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