Petey the skink, which was stolen last week from a Lexington pet store, was found Tuesday when an unidentified couple attempted to leave Petey outside Scott County Animal Care & Control.
Animal control officers were able to delay the couple until they could be apprehended by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
Petey was reported stolen from Most Valuable Pets, a pet store at Beaumont Center in Lexington, on the night of Saturday, March 19, according to WKYT.
A Most Valuable Pets worker picked up Petey from Animal Care and Control on Tuesday and he was returned safely to the pet store.
Skinks are a type of lizard found in the wild all over the world, including the United States, although monkey-tailed skinks, like Petey, are not native to North America . They are most commonly found in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Monkey-tailed skinks are herbivores and need a diet of fruits, greens, and vegetables. In captivity, they need a large tank, a moist environment, and regular exposure to UVB rays for proper calcium absorption. Monkey-tailed skinks are one of the largest and most durable skinks.
Matt Cracraft, sales and inventory manager for Most Valuable Pets, said Petey was back at the store and doing well. Petey has been moved to a new, more secure cage with a lock and will remain at the store as a pet, Cracraft said. Most precious pets have had Petey for about eight months before the skink’s nap. Petey is easy to handle and a “rather relaxed and chill lizard,” Cracraft said.
At this time, no definitive reason has been established for Petey’s theft or return, but Cracaft speculated that he may have been stolen for his value, around $800. Commercially available monkey-tailed skinks are usually bred in captivity and, unlike many other reptiles, usually only have single births.
It is not yet known if any charges will be brought against the unidentified couple.