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Thursday, 07 June 2018 06:01

Couple Gets Package with Scaly Stowaway

Bearded Dragon Discovered inside Big Bicycle Box

JUNE 7, 2018 – A couple near Hemet discovered a scaly stowaway inside a package delivered on Wednesday afternoon (June 6).

Al and Chris Brummett ordered a bicycle from Walmart.com as a gift for a granddaughter. Two days later, the package arrived. Mr. Brummett made the startling find after he pulled out the frame and other parts. He moved things to the side to ready his assemble job and there was a critter staring back at him.

“At first I freaked out because he was so big,” Brummett said. “Here was this massive lizard looking over his shoulder at me.” His reaction was almost a cartoonish, double take. “There he was, and he had this look,such as ‘what the heck just happened?’” he said. “And I’m thinking, ‘yeah, me too.’”

He found a five-gallon painter’s bucket and placed it over the lizard and contacted Riverside County AnimalServices. Officer Carra Mathewson responded to the property in the Valle Vista area of unincorporated Hemet. Then she called her colleague, Officer Harvey Beck, who has better knowledge regarding exotic creatures – and how to handle them. Officer Beck recognized it as a bearded dragon, a native of Australia and a critter that is legal to have as a pet.

The Brummetts did not know what to make of the creature. He said he wondered how long it had been inside the big, cardboard box. He did not see any holes on the box. He knew the bike was made in China. Did the lizard make a sea voyage inside the box that was inside a metal container? Was it poisonous? One thing was certain, he said, his wife would have freaked if she was the one to discover it.

"She was not around when I opened the box,” he said. “If she would have been present, she would havescreamed crazily.”

Officer Carra Mathewson said the call will remain one of her strangest in a career that has had some interesting ones. “Somehow that bearded dragon ended up in that box and who knows how long it had beenin there. It’s a wacky tale for sure.”

Since the critter likely needed some nourishment, Officer Beck offered his new buddy some canned peaches. Bearded dragons enjoy small insects, such as crickets, but also enjoy a steady diet of fruits and vegetables.

 

CORRECTION, JUNE 7, 2018: We shared the strange story about a bearded dragon that was inside a package delivered to a Hemet-area couple. The couple told us the package was from an Amazon Prime order. However, upon closer inspection, the couple realized the package was from Walmart.com.

The couple has 19 grandchildren and were doing several orders for birthday presents and thought the bike gift for a 10-year-old granddaughter was from Amazon Prime. So, just to be clear: It was a Walmart.com purchase.

We apologize for that confusion.

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