IT’S NOT every day you go for a walk and meet a skunk – but residents in Silloth have been doing just that.

When the weather is just right, cheeky chappy Niffler gets to head out along the front with his human caregiver Liam Tanner.

Most days, weather permitting, Niffler gets to take a stroll along the front at Silloth much to the surprise of visitors and residents. He has become rather popular in the community, with people asking when he will next be out on his walk.

For Liam Tanner, 22 and his partner Sophie Hilary, 24, caring for these animals is the most important part of their daily lives. “We have been looking after exotic animals [at Cozy Creatures] for about three years now,” Mr Tanner said, “and we have just decided to go public to see if we can help more animals. The joy the animals bring is incredible.”

The pair started taking in animals in need as people do not realise how much care and interaction exotic animals need, explained Mr Tanner.

Opening up the exotic rescue centre felt like the next step to take for the 22-year-old, who said: “There are so many rescue centre to help cats, dogs and wildlife but exotic rescues are few and far between.”

Having a skunk in the house takes a lot of work but Niffler is a very friendly and social skunk, only once spraying when they first took him in.

The animal enthusiast added: “Niffler is a very friendly boy – he is so playful and loves to dig and give cuddles.

“Last year we were called and asked if we would take him in so we travelled to Liverpool to save him.

“He needs exercise and the best way for us is to take him for walks.

“People are very surprised to see a skunk on a lead walking round Silloth, but everyone loves him and people are always sending us messages asking when he will be back out for a walk.

“We really want people to think about the long-term care for these animals and we really want people to follow the five freedoms when it comes to looking after animals: no animal should be hungry or thirsty, none should be in discomfort, they should be free of pain or distress, they should be able to express natural behaviour and should not live in fear.”