A wayward lizard that was awaiting transportation from Queensland to Tasmania finally hitched a ride last week.
Sparks the bell phased lace monitor is the latest acquisition of the Serpentarium Wildlife Park Tasmania at St Helens.
He had spent months in Maroochydore being looked after by a reptile handler.
Serpentarium co-owner Matthew Lowndes said he was contacted by Shaun Aisen of freight service Air Charter Worldwide offering to help get Sparks to Moorabbin airport.
Trans-bass freight service Tasfast Airfreight, owned by Vortex Air, then flew Sparks to Devonport where he was collected by Mr Lowndes.
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Vortex managing director Colin Tucker said there had been an increase in demand for animal transportation.
“We’ve had a large increase in pets as well … but there’s definitely been a need for exotics at the moment that are stuck with larger carriers dropping off capacity,” he said.
Mr Tucker said he was also helping Tasmania Zoo and Zoodoo transfer animals, including tigers, in and out of the state.
Mr Lowndes said Sparks had settled in well to his new home at the Serpentarium.
“Sparks is now settling into the new enclosure, busily exploring new habitat, climbing and finding lots of nooks and crannies to hide in,” he said.
Mr Lowndes said the airfreight services were also assisting in bringing two Tasmanian-first Burmese pythons and a reticulated python from the United States.