A NEW hospital catering for the needs of sick reptiles was officially opened by animal-loving celebrity Wendy Turner Webster at the weekend.

Wendy, of Channel Four's Pet Rescue, was on hand to perform the honours at the Reptile Trust, in Burnopfield, County Durham.

She also kicked off the trust's latest fundraising effort when she launched its own lottery at the Milburngate Centre, in Durham City, on Saturday.

Trust chief executive Peter Heathcote said the new hospital was something very much needed, particularly in the North-East.

One of its first patients was a boa constrictor, which had a lifesaving operation to have an abscess removed from its jaw.

The trust also celebrated the second anniversary of its premises in Burnopfield at the weekend.

Chief executive Peter Heathcote said the premises provided a home for up to 150 unwanted reptiles at any one time, on running costs of £81,000 per year