Police are on the hunt for a thief or thieves who they say stole money and a beloved gecko from a wildlife rescue center in Bear, Delaware.
Hilary Taylor, who runs the Delaware Wildlife Rehabilitators Association in her backyard, says the gecko was stolen between 9 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday.
“We tore the hospital apart and I couldn’t find him loose in there,” she said. “We couldn’t find him so I called 911.”
Taylor also says someone stole a donation box filled with cash.
Upon hearing the news, neighbors quickly came to Taylor’s aid and donated money.
“It’s just a shame,” Lisa Mantegna said. “You know somebody that does something good. She shouldn’t have to go through something like this.”
Taylor takes in and helps rehabilitate about 1,000 animals every year, including foxes, squirrels, rabbits turtles and raccoons. Part of the money used to run the center comes from Hilary and her husband. The other part comes from the stolen donation box.
“It’s so said that someone wants to steal from people who aren’t paid,” Taylor said “People who do this out of their homes.”
Hillary says she nursed the stolen gecko back to good health twice before after the SPCA took it from its owners who were mistreating him.
The stolen gecko is brown and about 5 inches long. Taylor also says its fat tail and markings make it look like it has heads at both ends.
The gecko needs to be fed live crickets, meal worms, vitamins and calcium. Without exactly the needed care, she said it will die.
Delaware State Police say anyone with information about the missing animal should contact troopers.