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.
East News Press Agency Richard Wiper, 33, claims 113 animals have been taken from his home
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.
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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 met ‘head of giraffes’ Nick while working at Colchester Zoo
East News Press Agency Richard is desperately trying to track down over 100 exotic animals including three meerkats
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 claims Nick – pictured – gave him a month to remove the animals
‘I shouted for my fox cubs, but there was no reply’, Richard says
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
The racoons also feel like family, Fashion events organiser Richard explains
East News Press Agency ‘Everyone suffers in a break-up’, Mr Wiper acknowledges of the bitter love split
‘I have lost so much. I just want my zoo back’, Richard said
East News Press Agency 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
East News Press Agency Richard Wiper, 33, with boyfriend of four years Nick Powell, 39
Chanelle Hayes revelas a lemur did a poo on her as she spent the day at the zoo with family