Pork Chop, an Argentine tegu lizard, went missing last week from his home in Rochester, Minnesota. Pork Chop and his owner Cody Whitehead originally found each other in California, where someone had dumped the poor lizard in the desert. After he was rescued and remained unclaimed, Cody adopted him and named him "Pork Chop" because of his chubby cheeks.
Last week, Pork Chop escaped from his outdoor enclosure. After five days on the lamb, he was found on Wednesday, safe and sound, and has been returned to Cody. KTTC News provides more details of the happy reunion:
Whitehead says the person refused to take his reward for finding Pork Chop and is thankful for his kindness.
"I am very excited. I was kinda concerned because I thought people would be like, 'Oh he's a big scary reptile. Maybe someone would harm him,' and all that. So, I was worried about getting him back, but I am so excited to get him back, and I really am gonna make sure I fully rethink that cage before I put him back out."
If you want to learn more about Argentine tegus lizards, watch this video, posted on the "Clint's Reptiles" YouTube, where Clint—who has a PhD in Biology Education and runs a reptile educational progam called "Clint's Reptile Room"—introduces us to his pet tegus, Gus Gus. In the video he discusses whether or not Argentine tegus lizards make good pets, rating them on five different criteria: Handleability, Care, Hardiness, Availability, Upfront Costs. The tegus gets an overall score of 3.2 out of 5.
I'm not usually a fan of people keeping wild and potentially dangerous animals as pets, but honestly after watching the video, I'm pretty convinced that Gus Gus seems genuinely happy to be cared for by Clint. However, Clint also explains quite clearly that big lizards like Gus Gus aren't for everyone, and the decision to get one as a pet should never be taken lightly. Still, after seeing Gus Gus, I can see why Cody Whitehead is happy to be reunited with Pork Chop.