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A gecko's long journey to Beloit

Friday, July 13, 2012

Beloit College is known for drawing international students, but on Friday, July 13, it welcomed an unexpected (and unusual) overseas guest.

Denny Broderick, technology support specialist at the college, was the first to greet him when he opened up a Dell printer box and came face to face with the 1-and-a-half-inch gecko hiding inside.

As luck would have it, the little hitchhiker was riding a printer bound for Biology Professor Ken Yasukawa.

“The fact it ended up in biology was rather amazing,” Broderick said.

Faculty members and students knew just what to do.

They grabbed hold of it with a pair of tweezers and coaxed it into a fish bowl. Students later gathered rocks and sticks for it to climb on inside the fish bowl.

Visiting Assistant Biology Professor Amy Briggs, who later brought it home as a pet, also offered it fruit flies and watched it drink some water.

They determined it to be a Chinese House Gecko, which, according to Briggs, is an invasive species found mainly in the South after arriving in shipping containers like Yasukawa’s printer box.

Since the printer came from China and this species of gecko is native to Southeast Asia, Briggs believes it’s likely that’s where her new pet began its long journey to Beloit.  

“See, we do our best to give everyone a little extra,” Broderick said.