December 17, 2015
Foot-long tropical lizard is rescued from recycling box by waste crews

A foot-long tropical pet lizard has been rescued from a recycling box by a waste collection crew.

The scaly, cold-blooded reptile was hardly moving in the box when it was discovered by the shocked crew.

The hungry and thirsty lizard is from one of the eight bearded dragon species, and was temporarily cared for by animal experts at Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre near Burnham-On-Sea.

Secret World staff warmed the bearded dragon up on a heated mat and gave it plenty to drink while feeding it meal worms and vegetables. It has since been handed over to the RSPCA.

Efforts are being made by the RSPCA to discover how and why Iggy ended up in the recycling box.

Tropical lizards can live for decades, but need good care and a heated vivarium to survive.

Steve Bisset, a driver-loader from Somerset Waste Partnership collections contractor Kier, said he spotted the exotic lizard in the recycling box early on Wednesday morning.

He said: "We put him in a cardboard box with some newspaper. He was alive but cold and hardly moving. I did knock on the door where the box was, but they said it was nothing to do with them."

"We called him Iggy Pop, and took him back to our depot, where someone took him to be cared for by Secret World. It is about the strangest thing I have ever found in a recycling box."

Secret World animal carer Josie Nott said: "We only deal with British wildlife, but will help in emergency situations when we can stabilise an animal and then pass it on to the correct organisation."

"The RSPCA is now involved and the case is under investigation. Anyone with information about this case should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999."

"Please think twice before taking on an exotic pet. They are not just for Christmas and will need years of care, attention and love."

A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesman said: "We collect a dozen materials in our kerbside collections but none of them include live lizards. There is no explanation why or how the lizard came to be in the recycling box; we can only hope the RSPCA can discover more about this."


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