Bearded dragon rescued 9,000 miles away from its natural habitat

This bearded dragon was found in the wilds of Bradfield, in Essex, over 9000 miles away from its natural habitat

This bearded dragon was found in the wilds of Bradfield, in Essex, over 9000 miles away from its natural habitat - Credit: Emma Young

A bearded dragon has been rescued 9,000 miles away from its natural habitat, roaming the wilds of Bradfield, in Essex. 

Sophie Taplin found the animal while out walking her dogs with her cousin.

"My cousin and I were taking my dogs out for a walk and spotted something unusual in the grass down Straight Road.

"We got closer and there he was, very still and staring up at me.

"I put a photo straight on Bradfield Buzz Facebook group, then walked to the Post office who gave me a box.

"I walked back, and by that point he was starting to get very cold and coiling up. I picked him up, and put him in the box.

"We took him home, kept him safe in the box indoors and Emma came to pick him up later that afternoon."

The bearded dragon was found near Straight Street, in Bradfield, near Manningtree, Essex

The bearded dragon was found near Straight Street, in Bradfield - Credit: @scenes.by.sophie

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Appearing on the Bradfield Buzz Facebook group, the Australian lizard — which are commonly kept as pets in the UK — attracted concern, leading Emma Young, of Dovercourt, to offer to take the beastie in. 

Ms Young, who already owns 20 exotic animals, said: "I couldn't have slept knowing I have three, warm, fat dragons in my house while he was out there in the cold, wild fields of Bradfield". 

Emma and Zeus, at home in Dovercourt, Essex, after the bearded dragon was rescued from the wilds of Bradfield

Emma Young with her new friend Zeus the bearded dragon - Credit: Emma Young

"When I picked him up, he was cold and floppy. His skin had gone almost black trying to get the most out of the sunlight.

"When I warmed him up on my chest, he was very lethargic, it almost seems like he'd given up, he wasn't interested in any food, though last night he did come out for a cuddle."

"I've nicknamed him Zeus — I have another called Zilla, and I think that the names go well together. 

"He seems very content now, quite affectionate. He's eating now, which is a relief, he had some worms and he's gonna have some locusts this evening."

She added: "I'm hoping someone comes forward to claim him, so I'm trying to not get attached."

Zeus the bearded dragon was found in the wild fields of Bradfield, in Essex

Ms Young believes that Zeus is unlikely to have escaped and was probably abandoned. - Credit: Emma Young

However, Ms Young is fairly confident that the bearded dragon didn't escape on it's own, and that he was likely abandoned: "He's not in a very good state bless him.

"His tail looks broken and I think his rib cage is floating, so he's definitely going to a vet soon.

"He doesn't look like he'd escape, and if he got out of his tank, he'd have tried to go somewhere warm, not outside.

"Putting bearded dragons outside is a death sentence, I'm just glad someone found him.

"I think he's been loved before — he's very happy on a human.

"People abandon them for a bunch of reasons. It' is often a lack of knowledge — they need heating, locusts, lighting and at least a 4x2 foot tank.

"If circumstances had changed, they could have given him away."

Zeus the bearded dragon looking handsome af in dovercourt, essex

Ms Young asks for people to always give their exotic pets away to a good home, rather than leaving them outside, where they will probably die - Credit: Emma Young

Ms Young said: "I've always had fluffy pets, but over the past few years I've ended up with more scaly creatures. Someone needs to look after them.

"I urge people to not to release exotic animals into the fields of Bradfield. My Inbox is open if any scaly creatures need rehoming. I'll for sure know someone who'll want them."

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