Plucky lizard survives long-haul flight, washing machine

A rare lizard has proved he's a true survivor by making it across the Atlantic and out of a washing machine.

The reptile, named Larry, stowed away in a British holiday-maker's suitcase, the Western Daily Press reported. He made it 3,500 miles in the hold of a plane from the Cape Verde islands off west Africa to south-west England – only to be put through the wash.

Thankfully, it was only a 30-minute delicates cycle and Larry seems to have come out clean but unscathed.

Sue Banwell-Moore had no idea the 6-inch lizard was hiding out in her dirty laundry, she told the Guardian:

"I was hanging out the washing on the clothes dryer and I looked down and there was this lizard there. I thought he was dead and I'm sure he nearly was – I have absolutely no idea how he was still alive."

Banwell-Moore left the lizard in a warm spot – covered with a saucepan in case he woke up and made a dash for it – and was delighted to find him moving hours later.

"I realised what the poor thing had been through and I sort of fell in love with it," she said.

Larry is now being looked after at a nearby zoo, where keepers have identified him as a rare type of chioninia lizard.

Staff at the Tropiquaria Wildlife Park say he is recovering from his ordeal and is "almost out of the danger zone," the BBC reported.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.