June 14 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Wales said a small Balkan green lizard stowed away with some tourists and ended up 2,383 miles from its home on the Greek Island of Kos.
RSPCA Cymru said a family of Brigend returned from a trip to the island, one of Greece's Dodecanese islands in the Aegean Sea, to discover a lizard had hitched a hide in a suitcase.
The 8-inch lizard had shed its tail, a common defense mechanism, but was otherwise in good health when it was taken by RSPCA officers to the Silent World reptile center in Pembrokeshire.
"After a relaxing break in Kos, the last thing returning holidaymakers would have expected to find amid their belongings was this stunning Balkan green lizard!" RSPCA inspector Nic de Celis said.
"We're really grateful to the callers who contacted us, and safely confined the lizard in their utility room before we came and made the rescue," he said.
Russ and Ginny Spenceley, who run Silent World, said the lizard will have a new permanent home at the center.
"Fortunately, this lizard is doing well. He's quite friendly, went straight into a vivarium with us and is eating locusts directly from our hands," they said.