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Nairn charity rescuing snakes and other exotic animals is gifted a home

By Federica Stefani

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Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue (SEAR) founder Nick Martin. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue (SEAR) founder Nick Martin. Picture: Callum Mackay.

A Nairn-based charity has received a boost to its work rescuing unwanted animals.

Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue (SEAR) based in the town’s Harbour Street, has been gifted its current premises by the building’s owners George and Tanya Macleod of Neacreath Ltd.

The charity, founded by Nick Martin in 2010, rescues and rehomes exotic animals such as snakes, lizards, tortoises, and invertebrates. It also carries out visits to schools and community groups and offers work experience and volunteering opportunities to young people, many of whom have additional support needs.

Due to ill health Nick Martin has had to step down and has passed the running of the charity to his protégé Chris Evans, who started at SEAR seven years ago through its work experience programme.

Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue founder Nick Martin said: “After growing up in New Zealand I’ve spent my life travelling the world dedicated to studying fascinating animals. Over the last several years the trade in exotic animals has increased and unfortunately the number of these amazing creatures who are abused and neglected has also risen dramatically.

“Thanks to the support of George and Tanya providing us with rent-free premises for the last five years and now this generous gift of the building itself, our charity can hopefully continue to help exotic animals in need all over the country, educating people on how to look after them better and sharing their magic with children across the Highlands.”

Originally the charity operated from Cantraybridge near Croy, but for the past five years has been based in a former shop unit at 10 Harbour Street, Nairn owned by Neacreath Ltd, a local marine and property consultancy.

Neacreath Ltd managing director George Macleod said: “The work carried out by Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue is inspirational, helping not only the animals they rescue but also many young people with additional support needs who thrive when brought into contact with animals and others who have been supported into the world of work by the opportunities the charity offered them.”

Fellow Neacreath Director Tanya Macleod added: “Founder Nick Martin’s work over the years has been outstanding and gifting the premises to the charity seemed like a fitting legacy and an excellent way to provide some stability in the current challenging financial conditions.”

Find out more about Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue at www.scottishexotic.co.uk

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