Staff at a farm shop were stunned after opening a box of bananas – and finding a rare exotic LIZARD.
The bright green Anole reptile survived being shipped 4,255 miles from the Dominican Republic to the local produce store in Peterborough, Cambs.
Workers at the Riverford Farm Shop believe the lizard slipped into the box of fruit as it looked for food – then became trapped for the two-week journey.
Experts say the only reason it survived the trip is because the bananas were free from pesticides.
The lizard was uncovered last Thursday at the shop and has now been transferred to a zoo in Devon where it will spend six months in quarantine.
It will then enjoy life at Paignton Zoo in an enclosure with other exotic lizards.
Jon Day, who helps run the farm shop, said: “We were delighted, if a little surprised, to find this little lizard hiding in the organic bananas.
“Each week we deliver veg boxes and organic produce to homes. The boxes are put together in our box barn which is where one of our team made the discovery
“All Riverford produce is organic which means it’s produced without the use of pesticides, we think this will have helped him survive the two-week boat journey from the Caribbean.”
A spokesman for Paignton Zoo added: “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 contains a wide mixture of wildlife including several different species of lizards such as the House Gecko, the Fantastic Least Gecko, Vincent’s Least Gecko and the Tree Gecko.
The lizard has yet to be named.