A stowaway lizard who had travelled more than 4,000 miles from the Caribbean was discovered in a suitcase of a family from Wickford.
The lizard, which is no more than two inches long, was discovered in a suitcase when a family returned to their home in Wickford, Essex, from a holiday in St Lucia in January.
When they started to unpack their clothes, the ‘unexpected item’ jumped out and ran across their floor.
“Luckily, they spotted the lizard and called the RSPCA.
RSPCA’s Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Joe White, who rescued the small stowaway, said:
“I think they were quite shocked to see this exotic lizard jump out of their suitcase.
“ Thankfully, they were able to grab him and give us a call. He was a little dehydrated but otherwise his 4,200 mile journey hadn’t done him any damage.
“I took him to be monitored by an exotics rescue centre and he has now been rehomed.”
The lizard is believed to be an anole lizard, which is a species from the Caribbean Lesser Antilles.
As this reptile is not native to the UK it would be an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to release, or to allow the lizard to escape into the wild.
If you find an unexpected animal in your luggage or have concerns for the welfare of any animal, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit their website www.rspca.org.uk