A SHOPPER got the fright of his life when he went to use a supermarket toilet – and discovered a three-foot lizard he thought was a crocodile.
Rumel Miah, who owns a city centre restaurant, had decided to pick up some supplies from Asda on Sandpiper Drive, Leith.
But first the 29-year-old decided to use the store toilets – only to be confronted with the monitor lizard, which had been abandoned in the cubicle.
Rumel, who lives in Dalry, said: “I’d gone in and shut the door when I heard a strange noise, like a bag rustling. I looked around and saw this scaly tail sort of flapping about in a bag. I actually thought it was a crocodile or a snake or something that had come up through the toilet. I jumped back out and shut the door.”
Rumel then reported his discovery to the store security team, who alerted the SSPCA.
“I’m in that Asda a lot so I know all the staff and they thought it was pretty funny.”
While some larger species of monitor can be dangerous. It is thought this specimen was a pet. The female lizard is now being cared for by staff at the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, who have named her Lulu.
Inspector June Chalcroft said: “Lulu was discovered in the disabled toilet at around 1pm. She was making her way out of the white sack. The shop would have been fairly busy at the time, so we’re hoping members of the public may have noticed someone carrying the sack in to the store.
“In September 2011, I was called to rescue a bearded dragon which had been left in a white sack in the male toilets of Morrisons on Ferry Road, which isn’t far from where Lulu was dumped.
“Unfortunately, we never received the information we needed to identify the person responsible, but we do have to consider that these abandonments may be linked.
“Reptiles have very specific needs in terms of their environment, nutrition and care and anyone thinking of taking on this type of pet should make sure they have the time and resources to give their animal the life it deserves.”
Monitor lizards are common in Africa and the Far East, and were given their name after being observed standing up on their back feet to “monitor” their surroundings. There are over 70 different species, and almost all species of monitor lizard are carnivorous. Anyone with information on Lulu should contact the Scottish SPCA’s Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.