Animal lover says his 113 exotic pets including 45 snakes have disappeared from a three-bed semi amid bitter split from his fiance

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AN ANIMAL lover says his 113 exotic pets have disappeared amid a bitter split from his fiance.

Richard Wiper, 33, claims foxes, meerkats, raccoons, lizards, a skunk, a giant tortoise, and 45 snakes have been taken.

Richard Wiper, 33, claims 113 animals have been taken from his home
Richard Wiper, 33, claims 113 animals have been taken from his home
East News Press Agency

He and Nick Powell, 39, fell out over the number of animals crammed into their three-bed semi.

Richard was given a month to remove them, but Nick later agreed to more time. However, last Saturday he heard from a neighbour that his animals were being put in a van. Fashion events organiser Richard, who says he is their registered owner, raced to the house to find it empty.

He said: “I shouted for my fox cubs, who howl if they hear me, but there was no reply. I broke down.

“It’s like having your family snatched from you. I’ve nursed these animals from the brink of death.

“The raccoons and Fernando the skunk have got me through so much.

“Everyone suffers in a break-up, but I have lost so much. I just want my zoo back.” He claims police have told him the animals are safe, but will not tell him where they are.

 


Richard met “head of giraffes” Nick while working at Colchester Zoo.

He later moved into a house Nick bought in Ipswich and started collecting animals from 2016 — spending £1,100 a month on food, bedding and vet bills for the menagerie.

A pal of Nick said: “He’d never do this to hurt. He wanted the animals out and safe and his home back.”

Richard Wiper, left, with fiance Nick Powell, right, in happier times
Richard Wiper, left, with fiance Nick Powell, right, in happier times
Richard met 'head of giraffes' Nick while working at Colchester Zoo
Richard met ‘head of giraffes’ Nick while working at Colchester Zoo
Richard is desperately trying to track down over 100 exotic animals including three meerkats
Richard is desperately trying to track down over 100 exotic animals including three meerkats
East News Press Agency
The 33-year-old poses with a giant tortoise kept at the couple's three-bed semi
The 33-year-old poses with a giant tortoise kept at the couple’s three-bed semi
Richard says he is the rightful owner of the animals kept in a house at Ipswich, Suffolk
Richard says he is the rightful owner of the animals kept in a house at Ipswich, Suffolk
Richard claims Nick - pictured - gave him a month to remove the animals
Richard claims Nick – pictured – gave him a month to remove the animals
'I shouted for my fox cubs, but there was no reply', Richard says
‘I shouted for my fox cubs, but there was no reply’, Richard says
The young kits 'howl if they hear me', the owner claims
The young kits ‘howl if they hear me’, the owner claims
'Fernando the skunk has got me through so much', the exotic animal enthusiast adds
‘Fernando the skunk has got me through so much’, the exotic animal enthusiast adds
The racoons also feel like family, Fashion events organiser Richard explains
The racoons also feel like family, Fashion events organiser Richard explains
'Everyone suffers in a break-up', Mr Wiper acknowledges of the bitter love split
‘Everyone suffers in a break-up’, Mr Wiper acknowledges of the bitter love split
East News Press Agency
'I have lost so much. I just want my zoo back', Richard, of Ipswich, adds
‘I have lost so much. I just want my zoo back’, Richard said
Richard claims police have told him the animals, his blue iguana pictured, are safe
Richard claims police have told him the animals including his blue iguana, pictured, are safe
East News Press Agency
Eric the monitor lizard is also missing as Richard claims he heard his animals were put in a van
Eric the monitor lizard is also missing as Richard claims he heard his animals were put in a van
East News Press Agency
Richard Wiper, 33, with boyfriend of four years Nick Powell, 39
Richard Wiper, 33, with boyfriend of four years Nick Powell, 39
East News Press Agency

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