A three-foot long monitor lizard that went missing from a back garden in Suffolk has been reunited with his owner thanks to the RSPCA. Lizzy had already been rescued and re-homed after he was overfed by his previous owner and was overweight. The giant reptile, who weighs in at around 6kgs, had been on a strict diet and exercise regime since New Year and had escaped from his garden enclosure in the warm weather.
The lizard was found hiding underneath a piece of corrugated metal a week after going missing by passers-by in fields in Kelsale on August 22nd.
RSPCA Inspector James Finch said: “I was shocked when I first saw this lizard – at a first glance he could easily be mistaken for a crocodile, he is huge.
I have only ever seen one monitor lizard before, but it was nothing like this. This one was so big – and very strong too.
“He was clearly overweight and was lost – and a bit grumpy about it.
The person that found him had managed to contain him in a trailer and called us to help.
Thankfully his owner was tracked down and we could reunite them fairly swiftly.”
It is believed the recent spell of warm weather made not-so-thin Lizzy more energetic during his afternoon exercise, prompting him to escape into the nearby field.
Insp Finch said: “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.”
Dr Ros Clubb, exotics scientist for the RSPCA, said: “Lizards like this would not survive long-term in the wild in this country so it is lucky he was found when he was.
It is great that his owner is taking such care to exercise him and make him lose weight. With reptiles this is a very slow process as their metabolism is slow. So this shows dedication getting him to stick to his regime.”