A stolen gecko, missing for nearly six months and presumed dead, was returned to its owners.
“The odds of him turning up again were one in a million – or less,” wildlife rehabilitator Hilary Taylor told the Wilmington Journal Tuesday. “... It’s a Christmas miracle.”
The unnamed, brown-colored lizard went missing in July when robbers tore apart the Delaware Wildlife Rehabilitators Association in Bear, Del.
But a woman recently returned the animal to Pet Kare in Bear and, according to the Wilmington Journal, the pet store manager recognized the lizard and called Taylor.
When the theft occurred, Taylor told NBC10, she suspected the lizard would likely die because of the care it required.
The African fat-tailed gecko munched on a specific diet of crickets, mealworms, vitamins and calcium, and needed its tank lit and heated in a certain way, she said.
Along with the approximately 5-inch long gecko, the suspects took off with a donation box filled with cash.
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The donations combined with money from Taylor and her husband have kept the center running since the 1960s.
Taylor operates the refuge in her backyard, where she takes in and helps rehabilitate about 1,000 animals, including foxes, squirrels, rabbits, turtles and raccoons, each year.
Ecstatic that the gecko, which appears to have two heads because of its odd-shaped tail, has been returned, she told police to drop the case, according to the Wilmington Journal.
"He's back and that's what's important," she said. "The police have a lot more important crimes to investigate."
The case has been closed without arrest.