Gallery: Snakes, iguanas and lizards on show at Kingfisher pub, Ipswich

The Mid Anglia Herpetological and Invertebrate Club Creature Feature night at the Kingfisher pub, in

The Mid Anglia Herpetological and Invertebrate Club Creature Feature night at the Kingfisher pub, in Ipswich. Ady Fisher - Credit: Archant

An exotic selection of snakes, spiders, lizards and even a tortoise were all on show at the Kingfisher pub in Chantry as a growing town club gathered for a special event.

Members of the Mid Anglia Herpetological and Invertebrate Club (MAHIC) came together at the pub in Hawthorn Drive for another of their bi-annual Creature Feature nights.

The events, which have proved increasingly popular, see club members bringing along their pet reptiles and amphibians to meet and greet each other.

Chairman Mark Smith said: “We had 48 people there, which is quite a good turnout for one of our meetings.”

Creatures featured on the night included a large Sulcata tortoise, a couple of burmese pythons, snakes, spiders, lizards and iguanas.


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Club vice-chairman Ady Fisher brought along an iguana he rescued after it was found in a layby in Essex.

The club now has around 100 members and has recently started a community support group with members responsible for different tasks including conservation, member engagement, education – keeping up with the latest developments in the reptile world – and a development role promoting the club to local businesses..

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“We put a lot into it,” Mark said. “And hopefully members are getting more out of it.

“It’s certainly grown. We were lucky to get 20 people this time last year.

“There are an awful lot of people keeping reptiles and amphibians and we have become more well known.”

The club has recently started a conservation project in Claydon.

The land, which is owned by a friend of the club who breeds tortoises, is being developed as a haven for reptiles and amphibians.

Members have cleared some of the willow, put up an owl box and a bird box.

Mark said: “We’re going to put a pond in when the land dries up a bit – it’s a bit waterlogged at the moment.”

The club hopes the pond will attract more frogs, toads, newts and other amphibians. “We want to get involved more in domestic and international conservation,” Mark said.

“The land is managed mainly for reptiles and amphibians, but obviously it will have a beneficial effect on other wildlife.

“It’s open to members to come along and do whatever they can when we visit the site.”

The club is always open to new members and has a full calendar of meetings and event for the year ahead, with another Creature Feature planned for later in the year.

Members will be taking a trip to Liverpool next month, organised by club secretary Jon Rowe, to visit the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

“They keep a lot of venomous species for anti-venom research,” Mark said.

“So we’re getting a tour of the place and learning about that.” Members will also visit Manchester Museum and talk to an amphibian expert and drop in at Chester Zoo.

n To find out more about the club, visit www.mahic.org

n Share your Ipswich-based events with the IP+ team by emailing ipswichplus@archant.co.uk or calling 01473 324788.

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