Stowaway lizard travels from Greece to Wales in suitcase

The lizard will now remain in captivity

Friday, June 14, 2019

A lizard from the Greek island of Kos has ended up in South Wales after finding its way into a suitcase.

Holidaymakers from Bridgend called the RSPCA after they found the 20 centimetre lizard in their luggage when they returned home.

The creature was in a good condition, despite experiencing a temperature drop from 26 degrees to 15 degrees during the 2,383 mile journey.

RSPCA officers have transferred the lizard to a specialist reptile centre in Pembrokeshire for boarding and care.

It had shed its tail – a common defence mechanism for the species.

RSPCA inspector Nic de Celis said he was “grateful” to the suitcase owners who were able to confine the lizard before experts arrived.

“After a relaxing break in Kos, the last thing returning holidaymakers would have expected to find amid their belongings was this stunning Balkan green lizard,” he said.

“With temperatures falling from a high of 26C to 15C, this was some ordeal for the reptile.”

The lizard is not being returned to Greece, and will spend its days in captivity at the centre.

Staff said the lizard is “friendly” and eating locusts from their hands.

Balkan green lizards are common in Greece and are well known for their striking green colour.

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