A lizard found in a kindergartner's salad has become a new pet for her elementary school science class.
The three-inch green anole lizard was found in a bundle of refrigerated tatsoi greens last week by the kindergartner’s mother, who said the tiny reptile had been in a “cold coma,” Riverside Elementary School teacher Mark Eastburn wrote on his website.
After finding the little lizard “unconscious and greyish in color… fortunately, with some warmth and moisture, this green anole quickly recovered,” Eastburn said on TeacherTurtles.com.
The child brought the very-much-alive anole into her science lab class, where the critter was named "Green Fruit Loop" and made a classroom fixture.
Eastburn shared facts about the species on his website, noting the lizard is native to the southeast United States and likely lived in the patch of tatsoi, also known as mustard spinach. The lizards survive mostly on insects.
“I think that ‘Green Fruit Loop’ will make a spectacular mascot for the Riverside School science lab!” he wrote.
The organic tatsoi came from Florida and was bought from Whole Earth Center in Princeton, New Jersey, the Associated Press reported.
A store produce manager told NJ.com that greens are cleaned and stocked and that the lizard must have been tucked away in a leaf.
“I don’t think the lizard would’ve made it in a conventional, non-organic box,” manager Mike Atkinson told the site, saying organic food is generally grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
But the lizard’s survival still surprised Atkinson, who told NJ.com: “I've been in produce for 17 years and I've never heard of a lizard making it to the customer.”