Stowaway lizard travels from Kos to Bridgend in holidaymakers’ suitcase

A stowaway lizard has ended up in South Wales after making a 2,383-mile trip from Greece.

The bright green Balkan lizard left behind temperatures of 26C on the island of Kos when he found his way into a holidaymaker's suitcase and travelled back to the UK with them.

The RSPCA was alerted after the holidaymakers from Bridgend returned to their Laleston home on June 6 to find the lizard in their suitcase.

A Balkan green lizard
A Balkan green lizard

The lizard, approximately 20 centimetres long, had shed his tail – a common defence mechanism for the species.

Otherwise he is in good condition, despite the journey.

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

Balkan green lizards are commonly found in Greece and are well known for their striking green colour. They are not dangerous.

RSPCA inspector Nic de Celis said: "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.

A Balkan green lizard
A Balkan green lizard

"We're really grateful to the callers, who contacted us and safely confined the lizard in their utility room before we came and made the rescue.

"As a stowaway in a suitcase from Kos to Bridgend for many hours, and with temperatures falling from a high of 26C to 15C, this was some ordeal for the reptile.

"Fortunately, this lizard is now at a specialist centre in Pembrokeshire for boarding and care and is doing well.

"It is anticipated the lizard will now live there, in safe and appropriate conditions."

Russ and Ginny Spenceley, who run Silent World in Pembrokeshire, added: "Fortunately, this lizard is doing well. He's quite friendly, went straight into a vivarium with us and is eating locusts directly from our hands.

"This lizard will join our other exotic species kept at our specialist facilities."