RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a leopard gecko was found in a Newport garden.

The homeowner contacted the RSPCA on Saturday (9 January) after discovering the gecko at their Chelston Place garden.

RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Fiona Thomas said: “The caller wasn’t sure how the gecko came to be in their garden. They asked around neighbours if they knew who the owner was but didn’t find out anything. The caller kindly took the gecko to a nearby vets.”

Gecko Newport Jan16The leopard gecko will now be transferred to an exotics specialist. The RSPCA is appealing for information to try and track down the owner of the gecko.

ACO Thomas said: “We are appealing for anyone with information about this gecko to contact the RSPCA Inspectorate Appeal Line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.

“We don’t know what happened to this gecko – he may well be an escapee and has become lost from his owners – or he could have been sadly abandoned.”

This gecko was very thin which is likely to be due to his time spent outside in the cold. Geckos cannot produce their own body heat, so this gecko would have been very slow and probably unable to hunt the live invertebrates he would need to feed on.

Geckos are not found in cold climates like in the UK and this species originates from the arid scrublands of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Caring for reptiles can be challenging and expensive and, unfortunately, the RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect and abandonment of them.

For many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment which is manifested in the growing number of exotic animals being abandoned and handed to animal centres around the country.

Releasing an exotic reptile into the wild in the UK will cause them to suffer and even die. It is also illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

We are urging potential owners to thoroughly research what is required in the care of an exotic animal before taking one on, as potential owners need to make sure they can give their animal the environment it needs and they have the facilities, time, financial means and long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).