Maybe he had heard about the imminent arrival of some larger cousins from South America…and decided to pay them a visit?
Whatever the reason for this inquisitive lizard’s appearance at Weymouth Sea Life Park, he certainly caused a stir.
Nobody can recall ever sighting a lizard on the Park before, and it is a little ironic that the first such occurrence should be a matter of weeks before the introduction of six much larger reptiles.
Half-a-dozen rescued Cayman crocodiles measuring between one-and-a-half and two metres long are about to occupy the new £1 million Crocodile Creek.
They’re likely to be a bit more of a handful than this surprise visitor, who was very deftly scooped into a plastic tub by staff member Paul Bullimore.
“He had settled in a big tub of sand in one of the shops in our Adventure Island area, ” said Paul. “He gave the girls in the shop a bit of a fright, but he was no bother at all.
“He posed obligingly for a few photographs and we released him out the back on the Lodmoor park where he scurried into the undergrowth none the worse for his own adventure.”
A common lizard a mere 10 to 12 cms long, the unexpected guest would be well advised to give his larger relatives a wide berth when they are safely ensconced in their new enclosure.
“We’ll be feeding them on fish and poultry mainly, ” said Paul, “but they’ll eat just about anything that wanders within range of their deadly jaws, and they strike so fast even a lizard would be hard pressed to dodge out of the way.”
Crocodile Creek will combine the UK’s first rescue facility for caymans with the world’s first log-flume ride through a crocodile enclosure. It is set to open in mid June.