Leicester dad and children find two large lizards dumped by the roadside
Two large lizards have been discovered dumped by the roadside by a father out walking with his children.
The trio found an 18-inch long monitor lizard on Monday evening and the next morning discovered a foot-long bearded dragon in the same place.
They have handed them both in to the Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital after a desperate search for someone to take them in.
The hospital, which had been vandalised by thieves over the weekend, was only too pleased to help them.
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The father, from Leicester, who did not want to be identified, said: "I was out walking with my son and daughter and we were returning to our car, which was parked in a lay-by on the A5 at Highcross.
"It had been raining and we saw the monitor lizard on the muddy verge near a puddle of water.
"Obviously, it took us by surprise. I don't know what it was doing there. Perhaps it had been dumped.
"It did not look in very good condition so we decided to pick it up and take it home in the boot of the car."
When they got home they rang around trying to find a refuge for it.
He said: "I was running out of options when someone suggested the wildlife hospital at Kibworth.
"They were great. Despite being attacked by vandals over the weekend, they welcomed us and took the lizard from us."
The family decided to have another look to see if they were any other lizards at the site on Tuesday morning.
The man said: "We pulled up in the same lay-by and sure enough there was a bearded dragon by the same puddle. So we took it to the wildlife hospital. We also gave them a donation to help with the upkeep."
He said his nine-year-old daughter asked to keep them, but he felt they needed to be cared for by someone with greater expertise.
Hospital volunteer Julia Simonson said: "The lizards are in pretty good condition and are settling in well.
"We have a reptile expert who will check them over before we look to rehome them. Apparently they make very good pets.
"The attack we suffered at the weekend, where birds and hedgehogs were killed, has hit us as the thieves stole valuable steel and aluminium cages. But we are determined to carry on with what we do here. We don't turn anyone away.
"If anyone can help us fund the replacement of the cages, we would welcome any donations."
People who want to support the hospital or who are interested in giving the lizards a home should call 07951 285366.