Tuesday 23 May 2017

Stowaway gecko found in suitcase

A stowaway gecko found in a holidaymaker's luggage after they returned from home to the UK from Spain
A stowaway gecko found in a holidaymaker's luggage after they returned from home to the UK from Spain
The creature is believed to be a Moorish Gecko

A second gecko in the space of two weeks has been accidentally brought to south Wales by a holidaymaker.

A member of the public found the small lizard in their suitcase after returning from Spain.

RSPCA animal collection officer Ellie West said she believed the animal was a Moorish Gecko - which can grow up to 15cm (6in) long.

"The member of the public took the gecko to a local RSPCA animal centre on July 7 after finding it their suitcase. We're very grateful they acted so responsibly.

"The gecko is now being cared for by an exotics specialist."

Ms West said identifying the correct type of gecko was important as some gecko species eat insects, whilst others have mainly fruit-based diets.

She added: "Geckos, like other reptiles, have specialist needs including controlled temperature and humidity. This gecko would certainly not survive UK temperatures.

"To release a non-native into the wild is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981."

Although it is unusual to find stowaway visitors hitching a lift, last month a couple from Swansea found a tiny gecko in their luggage after returning from Grenada in the Caribbean.

Officials say people finding any animal that has accidentally travelled from abroad should call the RSPCA advice line on 0300 1234 999.

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