A Rhyl resident had a surprise in their garden, when a rainbow-coloured chameleon they mistook for a toy winked at them!
The stray panther chameleon had – remarkably – settled on a camellia plant in the garden of a Weaver Avenue property in the North Wales town.
A shocked local resident mistakenly thought someone had left a toy on the plant – before the multi-coloured chameleon – found on 19 August – closed one eye!
RSPCA Cymru collected the reptile, who was cared for by the charity before being transferred to specialist facilities in Herefordshire.
The animal welfare charity has urged anyone with information about who may own the chameleon to contact their inspectorate appeal line.
Jenny Anderton, RSPCA inspector, said: “This colourful chap gave the resident quite the surprise. They thought it was a toy, before the chameleon winked from the fitting spot of a camellia plant!
“We’re grateful to the member of the public for contacting us – and the chameleon has now been transferred to specialist facilities for further care.
“Anyone with information about who may own this amazing animal – or the owner themselves – is urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line. This can be reached on 0300 123 8018.”
The chameleon was not microchipped – and the RSPCA say this “unusual rescue” highlights the importance of getting pets identified, and acts a reminder as to the importance of keeping exotic pets in appropriate accommodation.
Inspector Anderton added: “Had this chameleon been microchipped, we could have immediately contacted the owner and reunited them after completing this unusual rescue.
“Exotic pets can be very challenging to look after – and abandoned or escaped exotic pets is a big problem the RSPCA deals with. It’s so important owners are aware of how to meet the complex needs of these animals, and provide accommodation that is appropriate, secure and minimises the risk of unplanned escape.
“Advice and guidance on keeping exotic pet species, as well as our concerns for the welfare of exotics pets, is available on the RSPCA website.”
If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.