Search

Islington graduate turns passion for animals into original business idea

12:00 31 May 2014

Faik Aktulga, 22, with Zebadee the boa constrictor snake

Faik Aktulga, 22, with Zebadee the boa constrictor snake

Archant

Like many recent graduates, Faik Aktulga’s struggle to get a paid job after university left him living at home and feeling despondent.

But rather than letting it get him down, the 22-year-old from Tufnell Park decided to set up his own business which draws on his number one passion – animals.

Mr Aktulga’s new business venture, Wild Fangs, sees him taking his collection of exotic pets into schools and to birthday parties to give educational and interactive talks to children.

Five months after having the original idea Aktulga has already turned his parents’ house in Beversbrook Road into “a bit of a zoo,” with the upstairs floor given over to a burgeoning collection of reptiles and insects.

At the moment the core collection includes two chinchillas, three terrapins, stick insects, a bearded dragon, a baby corn snake and some Madagascan cockroaches, and he’s soon to add a scorpion and a tarantula.

This may not sound too enticing to the more squeamish or arachnophobic but Aktulga insists that the cockroaches are “lovely in their own way,” while “tarantulas are also popular but more of an acquired taste”.

The star attraction, though, is definitely Zebadee, a seven-foot boa constrictor, which Aktulga admits is his favourite.

“I was feeling a bit disheartened and I took a step back and thought what do I actually want to do?,” Mr Akyulga said.

“I decided that I wanted to work with animals because that’s what I had experience in and I’d had lots of reptiles and different pets as a kid.

Lizards

“My family’s from Cyprus so whenever we’d go back there I’d always be picking up lizards or interesting insects from outside and keeping them as pets.”

Most of the animals are rescue pets from people who could no longer manage to house them for various reasons.

Living with his parents has given Aktulga the space, security and freedom to take risks that have helped him take the plunge in starting his new enterprise.

“For now I can put all my money towards the business as I don’t have to pay rent to my parents,” he said.

“I do pay the electricity bills because all the animals use a lot with the heat lamps and special environments they need.

“I’ve already turned their house into a zoo, so it’s the least I can do.”

Mr Aktulga held his first event at Tufnell Park Tavern and it was a hit with local school children.

Around 40 people showed up to meet his pets and learn about what they like to eat and their natural habitats.

He also spends time volunteering at Hounslow City Farm which has helped him pick up presentation and husbandry expertise for his talks.

He said: “I kind of thought: why not just start now and learn from an early age? It will give me a lot of really good experience, whatever happens next.”

Schoolchildren are not the only ones benefiting from his decision to share his knowledge further afield.

“My dad’s fascinated by the animals and loves to learn about them. He’s always calling people in Cyprus with a fact that I’ve told him, which he pretends he found out himself.”

n Visit wildfangsuk.wordpress.com for more information or email wildfangs@outlook.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
Boddington

A leading tech boss has called for more action to get girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and for Tech City to become more multicultural.

Yesterday, 16:50
Gabriel Thomson, 28, who formerly appeared in BBC sitcom 'My Family' has been accepted to King's College London with a view to become a human right's barrister

Gabriel Thomson received a distinction whilst studying at City and Islington College

Friday, July 24, 2015
Members of the Islington Debt Coalition campaigned outside Finsbury Park Station last Thursday to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks

Council insists payday lending shops are not welcome in Islington

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Parking space for disabled person/

Recent statistics showed unemployment rates fall but disabled still face barriers to work

Most read news

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder