18 November 2012
Dumped Lizards in the New Forest
I was at Boltons Beach in the New Forest with a group for one of my Photo Experience Days. It was sunny, but had been a particularly crispy morning, with a heavy overnight frost.
I'd just finished explaining & demonstrating "depth of field" when a passer by walked up to ask what we were photographing, to which one of my attendees replied "we are waiting for Prince Harry to arrive...". I was quite proud of this reply because I normally tell people we are waiting for "The Queen"! The gentleman then proceeded to say that there were "5 bearded dragon lizards under a nearby bench".
Of course we thought he was taking the piss and getting his own back, but he wasn't and there were.
Unbelievably someone had indeed dumped five bearded dragons. Looking at their colour and the fact we could see frost on some of them, we guessed they'd been here overnight.
My group and I helped moved them into the warm sunlight. They were all just about showing signs of life. We were told that someone had gone to get his car and was going to take them to the New Forest Reptile Centre.
Once the guy arrived with his car, we helped gather up the lizards, wrapped them in a towel and loaded them in the back of his car.
Fast forward a few hours and I receive a message from Matt, the guy who'd taken them. The Reptile Centre was closed for the winter, but he'd managed to find a local reptile expert (who apparently works for Marwell Zoo) and he was now taking care of them. The best news was that they were all responding well to being warmed up.
A happy end to the story. Kudos to Matt for making the effort to help save them. If he hadn't then we all agreed that one of our group would have.
You just never know what kind of Photo Experience you are going to have when you're out and about with me!