Visitors to a former lingerie shop in Truro can now bring home a python or a red eyed tree frog after Kernow Exotics opened on Quay Street.

James Moore and his father Andy have refurbished the former lingerie shop which included changing the colour of the interior from pink to jungle green, and have installed a myriad of tanks and cages which are now home to a wide variety of reptiles, including snakes, geckos, bearded dragons, tree frogs and chameleons.

For the owner James, this new business venture is a departure from his former career as chef, but with the support of his father Andy, a reptile specialist who is passionate about exotics pets – they’re hoping to pass their enthusiasm and expertise on to their customers.

Andy Moore said: “There was definitely a gap in the market for an independent outlet dedicated to reptiles. Already our sales are well above what we expected, with chameleons, Royal Pythons and corn snakes, what we would call starter snakes proving most popular.

We expect to stay busy in the run up to Christmas especially with students who’re traditionally among the biggest customer base for exotic pets.

We are delighted to have people come in and browse. Exotic animals are fascinating and great fun and as long as people have the correct equipment and some knowledge, exotic animals are easy to look after.”

James’s lease to rent the shop was negotiated by Garry Becconsall of Miller Commercial who says the business should benefit from a presence on the high street.

Garry said: “Andy and James looked at units out of town and even considered building a new premises on a suitable plot but in the end I think they’ve made the right decision to set where there is a high foot fall specifically to attract the attention of people who may never have considered owning an exotic pet before."