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Green anole lizard found in salad becomes class mascot

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM

The science lab has a new mascot! Say hello to "Green Fruit Loop."

A photo posted by Mark Eastburn (@markeastburn.pps) on

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A kindergartener in New Jersey discovered a green anole lizard in a package of salad greens that soon became her class mascot.

The girl's mother, Sally Mabon, discovered the lizard unconscious and grey in a "cold coma" as she opened a refrigerated bag of tatsoi she bought from a local grocery store.

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The lizard was able to make a full recovery after receiving some warmth and moisture. Mabon then brought it in to science teacher Mark Eastburn, who believes the lizard survived due to an increased resistance to cold.

"It probably has some moderate adaptation to the cold which is why it made it through," Eastburn told NJ.com. "We set up a little cage for it. It really came back amazingly well."

The lizard piqued the curiosity of the kindergarten class and eventually earned the name "Green Fruit Loop."

As for its origins, Eastburn believes the lizard came from an organic farm in Florida and said it shows how pesticide-free environments can preserve wildlife.

"I think it's a nice testament to pesticide-free foods and their minimal impact on the environment," he said. "Since this lizard was able to thrive without any trouble, and although it was surely refrigerated for a few days, it was able to bounce back to health almost instantly!"

The produce manager of the store where Mabon bought the greens, Mike Atkinson, agreed with Eastburn saying that the lack of pesticides played a role in the Green Fruit Loop's survival.

"I've been in produce for 17 years and I've never heard of a lizard making it to the customer,"he said. "I don't think the lizard would've made it in a conventional, non-organic box."

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