Arizona to Colorado: The Tale of the Traveling Tree Lizard
An ornate tree lizard had quite the adventure recently, after accidentally hitching a ride from Arizona to Colorado in a traveler's suitcase.
According to the Northern Colorado Wildlife Center, an individual discovered the stowaway lizard in their luggage soon after returning home from a trip. The person had been in Arizona where they were celebrating Christmas.
Because the reptile was very cold, it was easy for the finder to trap it without causing further stress to the creature. After capturing the lizard, it was then taken in a glass jar to the Northern Colorado Wildlife Center where they could further evaluate its condition.
Upon arriving at the center, the lizard was immediately placed into an incubator to warm up. Once it was back to a regular body temperature, rehabbers built a new enclosure for the tree lizard to stay in. The adjustment has been going well for the animal. Staff says it speedily darts around and loves to climb on the inner roof of the cage.
The tale of the traveling tree lizard is an interesting situation for wildlife rehabbers to respond to. Since the finder wasn't entirely sure when the runaway reptile hopped into their bag during the trip, there's no way of knowing where its exact home territory is. Without knowing where the lizard precisely came from, the NCWC is unable to get the necessary permissions that would allow them to transport it back over state lines for a release.
Because of the logistics in this scenario, the lizard cannot be released back into the wild.
Instead, the Northern Colorado Herpetological Society will be responsible for finding this little guy a permanent home as someone's pet. Once he's transported to this local facility, he will be available for adoption through their website.