We welcome abandoned and seized reptiles and amphibians.


  • There are a lot of reptiles and amphibians that are abandoned by their owners or that are seized by authorities. They can take refuge in Pairi Daiza, where we are prepared to comply with their very specific needs (temperature, nutrition, caring, etc.) and in this way we can ensure their well-being.
  • By welcoming these animals in Pairi Daiza, we make sure that less animals are abandoned in the wild. We also limit the damage to the fauna and flora.
  • To prevent abandonments, we want to make sure that the potential buyers are aware of the difficulties and restrictions it takes to keep these animals in good circumstances. We hope that by doing this, we can avoid impulsive purchases of reptiles and amphibians, because it is always better for the animal to stay in their natural habitat.


  • Every year, we shelter several hundreds of reptiles and amphibians in the asylum. You can find it in the Mersus Emergo, the replica of an old whaler, in Pairi Daiza. This sanctuary was approved by animal protection. When they arrive, the animals need to isolate for 40 days. This quarantine prevents the possible transmission of infectious diseases.
  • The Mersus Emergo is not only a sanctuary, it is also a place to raise awareness about the NAC’s (new pets). Thanks to pedagogic panels and animations you can learn a lot about all reptile and amphibia-species, and you can also discover their specific needs. They also tell the background stories of the animals that live in the sanctuary. This will all help the potential buyers to ask themselves the right questions… and hopefully this will help to decrease the abandonments in the future.
  • Several times a year, police officres come to the sanctuary to meet the animals and train them how to cope with these animals. In this way they always know what to do for safety reasons, for human and animal, for example when they need to seize an animal.
  • Sadly enough, it is often not possible to reintroduce the abandoned and seized animals in their natural habitat. They have become potential carriers of diseases that would wreak havoc in nature.
  • If one of the animals is endangered, they can become a part of a breeding program, but only after their 40 days quarantine and a careful examination of their health. In this way they can contribute to the preservation of the species.

The refuge, from 1991 until now

The organisation, who had the name ‘Carpace’, was founded in 1991 thanks to young, passionated people who wanted to learn more about the problems of reptiles in common and in particular the turtles.

In 1995, the organization settled down in Gembloux and became a non-profit organization in 1997. One year later, the non-profit organisation Carpace was recognized as a refuge. That’s when they became the most important shelter for animals that were seized by the police, douane or veterinary authorities.

Since 2003 the center is located in Pairi Daiza and it has been opened to the public thanks to the support the latest.

How to entrust animals to us?

The refuge only welcomes reptiles and amphibians. Before you can entrust an animal to us, please contact us by e-mail. We will take note of your request and send you an e-mail with the practical details for receiving the animals.

Contact us

Contacter la Fondation

  • Par email : info-foundation@pairidaiza.eu
  • Par téléphone : +32 (0)68 49 59 68
  • Par courrier : Pairi Daiza Foundation - Domaine de Cambron, 1 - 7940 Brugelette (B)
Envoyer un mail à la Fondation