Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lizard Flo Rida swaps the Sunshine State for Inverness

Lizard Flo Rida hitched a lift from the US state to Aberdeen
Lizard Flo Rida hitched a lift from the US state to Aberdeen

A lizard is settling in to a new home in Inverness after hitching a 4,200-mile ride from Florida in a family's holiday suitcase.

The reptile was discovered by Siouxsie Mackenzie on Sunday after returning to Ferryhill, Aberdeen, from a holiday in the US state with her partner and eight-year-old daughter.

Ms Mackenzie was emptying suitcases and preparing a washing when she noticed the brown anole lizard.

She said her daughter wanted to keep the lizard but they nicknamed him "Flo Rida" and decided to take him to the Scottish SPCA as he is a wild animal.

The animal charity took Flo Rida to its Aberdeenshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Drumoak and the lizard was quickly offered a new home by Nick Martin, who has an exotic animal rescue charity in Inverness.

Ms Mackenzie said: "I recently got back from Florida with my partner and eight-year-old daughter, so the lizard must have jumped in one of our suitcases as we were packing.

"I was emptying the cases and preparing to do a washing when I spotted him sitting on the bathroom floor.

"He is quite cute-looking and didn't scare us. My daughter was even quite keen for us to keep him but we understand this isn't possible as he is a wild animal and we are glad he has found a home with someone who knows how to look after him."

SSPCA officer Kyle McWhirr said the charity is pleased to have found a new home for the lizard so quickly.

"Flo Rida is a small lizard around two to three centimetres long," he said. "He seems to be lively enough, although he is quite underweight.

"We're very pleased Nick has offered him a new home as we know he has the knowledge and experience to provide Flo Rida with proper care and a suitable environment."

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