A jet-setting reptile who accidentally took a trip from Spain to Stoke-on-Trent is now being looked after by the RSPCA.
The Moorish Gecko was spotted at Johnson Tiles, off Harewood Street, Tunstall, after travelling over 1,000 miles on some tiles imported from Europe.
You might say the three-inch common wall gecko has managed the impossible, and enjoyed a ‘night on the tiles’ during the pandemic!
Staff at the Tunstall factory alerted the RSPCA to their backpacking guest, who collected the nocturnal reptile on January 11.
Inspector Jenny Bethel put the stowaway safely in a container before taking him to a specialist reptile keeper.
Geckos, like other reptiles, have specific needs including controlled temperature, lighting and humidity. This gecko would be very unlikely to survive UK temperatures at this time of year.
Jenny said: “We believe the gecko must have hitched a lift when the tiles were loaded onto a lorry in Spain – so he certainly enjoyed a night or two on the tiles.
“He has travelled more than 1,000 miles but he appears unscathed by his long and adventurous journey.”
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The RSPCA receives calls from people every year who have found spiders, lizards and other exotic animals that have stowed away in deliveries or in suitcases.
Unfortunately it is unlikely they would ever be able to return accidentally imported animals to their native environments, therefore these animals are rehomed to specialist keepers, zoos or wildlife parks who have the necessary knowledge and facilities to care for them properly.
The RSPCA would like to remind holidaymakers to always give their cases an extra thorough check before heading home just in case they too pick up a surprising stowaway.