A British family were stunned when a green lizard survived a 4,000-mile flight from Florida after hitch-hiking in their SUITCASE.
The cheeky stowaway climbed into Matt Burke’s suitcase before he left Walt Disney World in Orlando last Friday and avoided detection at customs.
And the 38-year-old dad-of-three was shocked when he went to get a drink at 1am the day after the family got home and spotted the 3cm-long reptile in his KITCHEN.
After seeking advice from a vet the next day about what to do with the creature – which had hid under the freezer, Matt spent an hour attempting to catch it by squirting it with cold water.
He eventually managed to capture the gecko – affectionately named ‘Larry’ by Matt’s children – and took him to a pet shop where he could be properly looked after.
Matt, who lives with his wife and two sons, aged nine and six, and his four-year-old daughter in Tunstall, Staffs., said: “In Florida lizards were everywhere, hanging from walls, on doors and ceilings.
“We did spot one in our room one evening, on the boys’ bed.
“We shooed the creature away and thought no more of it.
“When we eventually caught him at home, we scooped him up in an old sweet tub and made some breathing holes in the lid.
“We all wanted to keep him but we knew that we wouldn’t be able to look after him properly. After his long flight to a cold country he needed proper care.”
The lizard is now being looked after by Donna Gratton, 50, an employee at Pets and Pastimes in Stoke-on-Trent.
He is now living in a tank with a UV lights enjoying meals of tiny crickets.
Donna,who already owns two Bearded Dragon lizards, said: “Larry is a tiny gecko who is a bit nervous and is always hiding under something.
“The family didn’t know what to do with him so I was more than happy to look after him. Geckos can make nice pets and I think he is only a baby.”
Matt added: “We are happy he is safe and has a home with Donna and we will be sure to visit.
“He was so cute and only about three centimetres long. We wanted to make sure he’d recover from his ordeal.”