Giant Lizard Hitches 10,000-Mile Ride in a Shipping Container

by Alex Falls

An intrepid lizard traveled more than 10,000 miles over six weeks in a shipping container all the way from Brisbane, Australia to an industrial estate in Chichester, England.

The Australian water lizard, now nicknamed Patrick, hitched a ride on a shipping container that crossed halfway around the world. Patrick was found in an industrial estate in Chichester but is now at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) specialist reptile rescue center in Brighton and the charity wants to find him a home.

RSPCA Brighton reptile expert Laurie McColgin issued a statement about Patrick’s discovery. She said the reptile is lucky to have survived his journey across oceans.

“As Patrick is wild and was not born in captivity we would like to find him a large specialist home. Ideally in a zoo or somewhere with a large walk-in enclosure,” McColgin said. “It’s likely his voyage would have lasted at least six weeks. It’s unbelievable he managed to survive the ordeal, he is very lucky!”

Giant Lizard Now Needs a New Home

McColgin also said they’re working to find a permanent home for Patrick the lizard. But he’s a long way from his natural habitat. So he’s going to need special accommodations for his forever home.

“He will need a very large arboreal set up with a large water source and lots of climbing branches. Once he is back to full strength we will be researching places for him to go,” McColgin said. “We would always advise people to treat any unidentified animal with caution until identified accurately and not to try to handle an animal that has been discovered as accidentally imported.”

According to McColgin, accidentally imported animals happen more often than you might think. She encourages anyone who comes across a foreign animal to seek the help of the RSPCA or other locality to properly identify the animal’s needs.

“We are incredibly busy over the summer months. So if anyone does find a stowaway as they are unpacking it would really help us if they contacted their nearest zoo or exotic pet shop in the first instance,” McColgin said. “So our frontline officers can prioritize rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect.”

Patrick was brought to the RSPCA reptile center in Brighton, England on August 31st. West Sussex wildlife protection brought to reptile in.

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “We would recommend always thoroughly checking your suitcase before leaving a holiday destination. Summer is a busy time for us as highlighted in our cancel-out cruelty campaign. We receive around 134,000 calls a month a month and our officers are flat out trying to prioritize animals affected by cruelty and neglect. So a few extra minutes checking your suitcase could help save our officers’ time.”