An exotic lizard survived a 4,255 mile two-week trip from the Dominican Republic having popped into a box of bananas.
Stunned staff at Riverford Farm Shop, based at Sacrewell Farm, Wansford, could not believe their eyes when they found the bright green reptile in a newly delivered box of organic bananas on Thursday last week.
It is thought the Anole lizard was fresh off a boat from the Dominican Republican and survived because the bananas are pesticide free.
Jon Day, who helps run Riverford’s farm at Sacrewell, said: “We were delighted, if a little surprised, to find this little lizard hiding in the organic bananas.”
He added: “We prefer to grow as much as possible locally, but for some products that just isn’t possible. In fact, growing things like bananas and tomatoes in heated greenhouses in the UK is actually more environmentally harmful than boating them over from the warm countries that they are grown in.”
Mr Day said customers have been suggesting names for the lizard all week.
He added: “he’s certainly made an impact!”
The lizardhas since been transported to Paignton Zoo in Devon where it will be put into quarantine for six months before being re-homed in one of the venue’s reptile displays.
A spokesman for Paignton Zoo said: “He is definitely a very hardy chap and lucky to have survived a two-week journey.
“He seems fine and pretty perky and we’re happy to have him at the zoo.”
The Dominican Republican is home to several different species of lizards such as the House Gecko, the Fantastic Least Gecko, and Vincent’s Least Gecko .