Know your 'Hood: Island Exotic Hospital @ SYP

The other day I went to the Jazz fest in West Kowloon. Sitting not far from my group of friends was to my utter amusement a peculiar audience. A couple with their pet; not a cat or a dog or a hamster but a cute little Hedgehog!! Yeah you heard me write a hedgehog, all tiny with Prickles 😊!!

Where do these guys get these kind of exotic pets, and more importantly, where do they go for it’s medical need I wondered loudly. That’s when one of my friends spoke to me of a hospital for exotic pets in Sai Ying Pun.

Now for those who don’t know me I am a pet lover. I live in Hong Hom and visit HK island on a quasi-daily basis as I work in Central and believe I know Sai Wan pretty thoroughly,having worked there for many years. But never had I heard of this hospital for exotic pets. I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Unlike many other vets which are usually on the ground floor, Island Exotic Hospital is on the 2/F Hing Tai Building. The hospital opened in 2016 and it is a sister shop of Tai Wai Exotic Hospital, since they have a lot of clients (not human, we mean the little ones) in Tai Wai but the owners are living on the island side and they hope that will be one closer. The crew considered the location close to Central and the Western harbor tunnel, that would be easier for them to transport goods to/from Tai Wai. A reasonable rent was also taken into account.

Why only for exotic pets? There are numerous dogs and cats clinic all over HK already, plus the environment with no cat/dogs is not suitable for exotic animals.

In here, it offers a wide range of services and an animal hotel is part of it. If you are away you can take your little one here and the team here will take care of it.

The day I visited there is one hotel guest- rabbit was staying there! An outgoing little rabbit approach me as I get closer to his hotel room!

The clinic is well-equipped with imaging room, surgery room, pharmacy and wards. There is a warm room with 28 degree celsius and the other 22-25 degree.

Next i bumped into another friendly but talkative guest who had just finished her lunch and kept saying "hi" as I came closer!!

A red-ear slider and a pair of turtle (in case you think terrapin is turtle, turtle and terrapin are two different species, don’t mix up. See? Me the ‘writer’ becomes more “knowledgeable” after the visit 😊).

The adorable pair was transferred from SPCA as the center was overloaded. They are here for a while waiting for a new adopter to give them a new home. This is a characteristic in the vet industry: they would connect different shops or institutions to help the abundant. This is more than a business- taking care of animals together; and this is common to see in other clinics too.

The crew has noticed in recent years that the traditional seafood shop/ traditional Chinese medicine shop appear to be moving out from Sai Wan either because of the rising rent or the shop owners are getting old or due to gentrification. Luckily it still retains many of the old shops. The Island Exotic team hopes more traditional shops will be able to stay, this builds Sai Ying Pun’s landscape, uniqueness and personality.

If you are an animal lover too and like something off the beaten track, we recommend you go check out Island Exotic Hospital. Anyone is confident to take up the responsibility for the cute turtles please have a look there and you would know how sweet they are!

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