The RSPCA is reminding people about responsible reptile ownership after it found a missing monitor lizard a week after it disappeared.
The lizard, which was found hiding under a piece of corrugated metal, is serving as a reminder for anyone thinking about a reptile as a pet to consider whether the animal is right for them and to fully research the particular species beforehand.
The “not-so-Thin Lizzy” – measuring 3ft long – had already been rescued and rehomed after being overfed by its previous owner, causing it to become overweight.
The giant reptile, which weighed in at about 6kg, had been on a strict diet and exercise regime since the new year and had escaped from its owner’s garden enclosure in the warm weather.
RSPCA inspector Jason Finch said he was shocked when he first saw the lizard, having never seen one so big.
“It had been out in the garden for a swim and to get some much-needed exercise doing laps of the garden to help it lose weight,” he said. “Unfortunately, it then took a wander and went missing.
“The owner was so relieved to get his lizard back. He had been cutting down shrubbery in his garden desperately trying to find him, but with no luck. It was lovely to be able to reunite them again.”