Lifestyle & Belief

Plucky lizard survives long-haul flight, washing machine


Larry the lizard is a true survivor.


Tropiquaria Wildlife Park

A rare lizard has proved he's a true survivor by making it across the Atlantic and out of a washing machine.

The reptile, named Larry, stowed away in a British holiday-maker's suitcase, the Western Daily Press reported. He made it 3,500 miles in the hold of a plane from the Cape Verde islands off west Africa to south-west England – only to be put through the wash.

Thankfully, it was only a 30-minute delicates cycle and Larry seems to have come out clean but unscathed.

Sue Banwell-Moore had no idea the 6-inch lizard was hiding out in her dirty laundry, she told the Guardian:

"I was hanging out the washing on the clothes dryer and I looked down and there was this lizard there. I thought he was dead and I'm sure he nearly was – I have absolutely no idea how he was still alive."

Banwell-Moore left the lizard in a warm spot – covered with a saucepan in case he woke up and made a dash for it – and was delighted to find him moving hours later.

"I realised what the poor thing had been through and I sort of fell in love with it," she said.

Larry is now being looked after at a nearby zoo, where keepers have identified him as a rare type of chioninia lizard.

Staff at the Tropiquaria Wildlife Park say he is recovering from his ordeal and is "almost out of the danger zone," the BBC reported.