A lizard which hid inside a woman’s make-up bag for more than 5,00 miles as she travelled back from her holiday in Mexico has been handed into the Tropical Butterfly House at North Anston.
The Barbados Anole, now named Lizzie, survived the 13-hour, 5,318 mile recent flight back to Manchester Airport.
The woman only realised when she returned home and saw the lizard staring back at her from inside her belongings.
The Barbados Anole is a species of Anole Lizard that is native to Barbados, an island-nation in the Caribbean. Originally endemic to Barbados, it has since spread to the mainland.
Zoo curator and centre manager, Andrew Reeve, said: “Lizards, like other reptiles, have specialist needs including controlled temperature and humidity. This lizard would certainly not survive UK temperatures. To release a non-native into the wild is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
“If a member of the public finds an animal that has accidentally travelled over with them from abroad, they can either call the Tropical Butterfly House on 01909 569 416, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 03459 33 55 77, or the RSPCA’s cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.”
Lizzie isn’t the only new member at the Tropical Butterfly House, Woodsetts Road, as the centre now also has Vampire Crabs, just in time for Halloween. The unusual species, originally from Indonesia, are bright red and their shells will only grow up to 20-25mm in size. They are also the only crabs that will breed in fresh water only.
Call the Tropical Butterfly House on 01909 569416.