A 1-year-old bearded dragon lizard has a new lease on life thanks to some quick thinking sheriff’s deputies in Dubuque County, Iowa.
The lizard, also known as a beardie in the reptile pet hobby, was found last month by Dubuque County Sheriff’s Deputies Ryan Kettman and Dan Kearney on the side of the road. The beardie, named Daenerys, was wrapped in a blanket, but appeared dead, according to a report on KCRG TV9.
The sheriff’s deputies, who were acting on a phone tip, initially thought Daenerys was dead, but decided to take her to Dr. Robin Mundt for a professional opinion. In an attempt to warm the reptile up along the way, they cranked up the heat in the squad car, which may have helped in keeping the reptile alive (beardies like to bask in heat approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
“It was really cold. It was like zero degrees that night,” Mundt, a veterinarian at PetMed Animal Health Center in Dubuque, told KCRG TV9. “When he was holding her she was like stiff as a board.”
Mundt said that they weren’t sure if she was alive or dead but after putting her under a heat lamp for an hour, she started to move her head up and down. The next day she was acting like a normal bearded dragon.
“It needed to go down just as it happened, and had there been a delay or they waited any amount of time, as cold as it was that night, I think she would have died,” Mundt said.
Mundt will keep Daenerys in her office to help teach owners of exotic pets, such as bearded dragons, how to care for them.