In his apartment, Aurelien collects about thirty abandoned snakes.

Aurélien Luc lives with 40 reptiles in his apartment in Lormont, in the Gironde. (© News Bordeaux / Jonas Denis)

“Kaa, this is a teddy bear, he’s generally good,” slips Aurelien Lucspeaking of sound boaa snake 1m80 for 6.5 kg. This construction trader lives in Lormont (the Gironde) in an apartment of 60 m.2.

Half of its space is devoted to its cold-blooded animals. “I set up a special room to set up my snakes,” he admits.

In 2020, Aurélien decided to create a Salamandryx association to welcome reptiles that can no longer tolerate their owners and are on their way to extinction. abandoned. Today he lives with 40 reptilesincluding about thirty snakes.

Aurelien Luc and Kaa, his 1m80 boa constrictor.
Aurelien Luc and Kaa, his 1m80 boa constrictor. (© Bordeaux News)

Since adolescence, he has been fond of reptiles. When he was 15, his mother gave him his first snake straight from the Au Canari pet shop in Bordeaux. And it was in this store, which has since closed, that she passion born for reptiles.

Very affectionate animals

Every morning, a 39-year-old man has the same thing. “About 5 am I get up, see if everything is in order, I hear from each of them. Every two days I change the water in the terrariums, remove the droppings and pick up the molt. Taking care of every animal takes forever! When I have time, it can take me all day. “But the former soldier has his own favourite.

Kaa is very sweet. While I clean his house, I put him on the ground, he makes his life. Sometimes he sits next to me. But it is unlikely that he will go far, I easily notice him.

Aurelien Luc

To feed him, the 39-year-old man gives him dead mice. The snake coils around the prey and breaks its bones. Kaa gets rats weighing about 300 grams and eat twice a month.

Aurélien picked up this boa constrictor’s mother in 2014. “His owner didn’t want him anymore. She was very aggressive, she tore off his fingers as soon as he ran his hand over his terrarium. Taking the female, I had the right to a few small ones. One – Kaa – I kept for myself, and distributed the rest. »

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reptile rescue

Rescue missions like these he often understands.

The reptile is not a toy. I get calls from people who want to get rid of him because they got bitten or because they don’t take care of him enough, etc.

Aurelien Luc

At this time, President Salamandrix takes the animals, takes them to veterinary and keep them at home. “Time to take care of them and then adopt them,” he describes.

A rare thing, Aurélien is not never for money. “I organize barter with a person who wants to adopt. For example, in exchange for a snake, I ask him to give me his old terrarium. »

Reptile adoption remains very controlled

Meeting a reptile at home for some species is simple, but legal framework little known to buyers. “When a person or a breeder buys a reptile, they have very little information about the animal’s home environment. He should do his research before adopting, if possible,” emphasizes Morgan Prioto, New Pet Veterinarian (NAC) in Pessac.

For some types of adoption certificate is required to receive. “This is an examination that will determine your ability to adapt, to comply with hygienic conditions, scientific knowledge about the animal. You have to pass an exam before the commission,” she explains. Training for a certificate can cost up to 2,000 euros.

Here is an albino python.
These are “chips”, an albino royal python. (© News Bordeaux / Jonas Denis)

Aurélien knows something about this: “I did an internship for many years to keep abreast of the latest events, I stopped counting a long time ago. »

According to the veterinarian, there is an ethical problem: “Individuals accumulate reptiles at home, without caring for them. health. And unlike mammals, reptiles don’t report their discomfort,” she laments.

She regularly accepts clients into her clinic who have not taken proper care of their snakes. Then the animals can be aggressive and in a deplorable state.

Reptile spa project

Aurélien supports development projects. “My wife and I are preparing to buy a property. I would like to create Specialized SPA in reptiles. But I still lack funding and land. »

He pulls the royal python out of the tray and picks it up.

It is important to always hold the snake with both hands. This allows him to have two supports, and he feels more secure.

Aurelien Luc

This knowledge about reptiles comes from his extensive research, even if it means not sleeping. “I was diagnosed with high intellectual potential and hyperactivity. reptiles my therapy. After 25 years of research, I continue to learn about species, subspecies, scientific names, etc.”

The former soldier has a special room to install his reptiles.
The former soldier has a special room to install his reptiles. (© News Bordeaux / Jonas Denis)

He is currently deepening his research into the next tenant. “This will molurus python 4 to 5 meters. It can weigh up to 100 kilograms. To greet him, I asked for a certificate. His terrarium will be a small room arranged in my apartment,” he rejoices.

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