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Ipswich: Stowaway lizard causes a stir at animal centre after sneaking into Ipswich holidaymaker’s luggage in Portugal

18:00 22 May 2014

Mr Hernandez, a lizard from Portugal which got into an Ipswich holidaymaker

Mr Hernandez, a lizard from Portugal which got into an Ipswich holidaymaker's luggage.


Meet Mr Hernandez, a jet-setting lizard who has caused quite a stir at a Suffolk animal centre.


Meet Mr Hernandez, a jet-setting lizard who has caused quite a stir at a Suffolk animal centre.

The 4ins reptile, believed to be a type of Fringe Toed Lizard, was found in the luggage of an Ipswich holidaymaker soon after returning from a trip to Portugal.

Shocked that it had somehow sneaked its way into his belongings and joined him on the flight home, the holidaymaker, who has remained nameless, phoned up the RSPCA centre in Martlesham, which has now taken the animal in.

“Over the phone we believed it to be a Gecko but on arrival here it was clear it was a lizard,” said Tom Patrick, acting deputy centre manager.

Staff have been taking care of the animal and the aim is to eventually send it to more appropriate accommodation where it can be cared for.

Mr Patrick added: “This is one of the odder things to have happened. We had a scorpion brought into us last year so these kind of things do happen.

“He is very fast, very flighty and obviously wild but he is doing well and he is very alert.”

For more information on the centre and details on any pets in its care, call 0300 9997 321 or, alternatively, visit

Have you ever had an experience like this holidaymaker? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail



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