Anyone lost a dragon? This one has been on the loose in Shrewsbury
When it was found clinging to a tree, this bearded dragon was more than a little grumpy.
Despite the warm weather, the 18-inch-long creature, which is called a bearded dragon because the underside of its throat turns black stressed or in the vicinity of a potential rival, was showing signs of distress when he was discovered by a homeowner in the Copthorne area of Shrewsbury on Wednesday afternoon.
She quickly phoned staff at Copthorne Vets to report her find and staff wearing protective gear made their way to the address to capture the cold-blooded creature.
Lauren Higgins, animal nursing assistant at the surgery said: “We had a call from a lady who said she had found a small lizard in her back garden. She said it was on a tree and she had no idea how it had got there. We went out and collected it. It is about 18 inches big and wasn’t very happy. We have absolutely no idea how it came to be there.”
Captive bearded dragons have to live in vivariums as they require UVB to prevent metabolic bone disease.
“They also require UVA which stimulates feeding, breeding, basking and overall health.
“How it came to be out of the vivarium is a mystery. Some owners do let them out to have a run around and perhaps that is what happened here. It would have been very difficult for it just to escape from a vivarium,” said Lauren.
“We think it is about two to three years old and perhaps a female, as it is smaller. It is very difficult to age and sex a bearded dragon so we are really relying on guesswork.
“It is in good health and once we had given it a thorough going-over we gave it some crickets and insects to eat and it seemed to settle down.”
The lizard has distinctive markings on its body. Anyone who believes it may be their’s should contact Copthorne Vets on 01743 360614.
Generally speaking, the bearded dragon is a solitary animal.
Male bearded dragons are usually housed alone as they will fight with other males and breed with females. Captive adults reach about 16 to 24 inches from head to tail and weigh 350-600g. They can live up to 14 years in captivity.