Hitching a ride: lizard travels from U.S. to N.S. on plant destined for IKEA
HALIFAX -- A green anole is resting comfortably at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Nova Scotia after an incredible journey.
The small lizard was discovered last week at an IKEA store in the Halifax area.
“This little guy showed up at IKEA in Dartmouth Crossing last week on one of their live plant shipments,” says Erica Day, a wildlife rehabilitator at Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth, N.S.
It’s not clear exactly where the anole hitched a ride, but the warm-climate amphibians are native to southeastern United States.
Day says it’s not uncommon for green anoles to show up in the province this time of year.
Their preferred method of travel? Plants.
“We do see the green anoles come in on plant shipments a fair amount actually,” says Day. “We do have five of them in our care currently and they have all been a result of coming in on plant shipments.”
Green anoles are classified as an invasive species in Nova Scotia, but they’re not considered a threat because it’s too cold.
“Because they’re such a warm-climate species, they would never survive in our province year-round,” says Day.
She says, while most people aren’t familiar with invasive species like anoles, they tend to get excited when one shows up in the province.
“They wouldn’t think that going to IKEA and buying a plant, a tropical plant, they could potentially bring home an invasive species,” says Day.
“There’s a lot of shock and interest in these animals.”
The green anole will be staying in Nova Scotia at the rehabilitation centre.
“This guy and his four other friends are staying at Hope for Wildlife. They are now incorporated in to our education program,” says Day.
“People can come and learn about them and other invasive species here at Hope for Wildlife.”