Baby gecko hitches 2,500-mile ride from Crete to Greater Manchester

A British holidaymaker unwittingly transported a gecko the size of a two pence piece from Crete to Greater Manchester.

The Mediterranean house gecko was found by Victoria Naylor when she returned to her home in Altrincham.

Ms Naylor spotted something moving in her case the day after her return on August 25, and two days later the gecko was spotted by her children climbing up a wall in their house.

She said: “I just saw something move from the suitcase but couldn’t find anything when I searched the room – and a couple of days later it appeared on a wall in the house.

“It was so tiny and it is remarkable to think this gecko managed to travel so far especially as the temperature would not be what he was used to.”

The family managed to contain the reptile, now named Gary, in a plastic container and fed it water before it was collected by RSPCA animal rescuer Jess Araujo.

Ms Araujo said: “We believe the gecko is a baby as it is so small and about the size of a two pence piece.

“He has travelled more than 2,500 miles but he appears unscathed by his long and adventurous journey and unlike most travellers did not need to have Covid tests!”

Gary the gecko is now in the care of a specialist reptile keeper and is doing well, the RSPCA said.

The charity said it gets calls from people every year who have found spiders, lizards and other exotic animals that have stowed away in deliveries or in suitcases, and asks them to check their luggage to ensure there are no stowaways.

The creatures cannot be returned to their native countries and must be rehomed to specialist keepers, zoos and wildlife parks who are able to look after them.

Geckos, like other reptiles, have specific needs including controlled temperature, lighting and humidity, and would be very unlikely to survive UK temperatures at this time of year.