A LIZARD who spent nearly a month stowed away in a shopping container has been found.

The RSPCA was alerted to the reptile after it was found in a warehouse in Wellington.

The gecko was discovered alongside a delivery of placements which had been brought into the country from China.

RSPCA animal welfare officer, Ali Sparkes, said: “The Grey’s Chinese gecko has travelled more than 10,000 nautical miles inside a shipping container without food or water. Luckily he was spotted by the staff who contacted us to help.

“We’d urge anyone who finds a reptile like this one to get in touch with us so that they can be properly identified and cared for.

“Correct identification is important as geckos, like other reptiles, have specialist needs including specific temperature, lighting, humidity, and dietary requirements. We would always advise people to treat any unidentified animal with caution and to not handle the animal until identified accurately as it could be dangerous.

“It’s also important to remember that it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to release a non-native animal into the wild.”

The gecko is now being cared for temporarily by a specialist while a suitable home with an experienced keeper is sought.