On Wednesday, January 7, Joanne Fugito found a nearly frozen five-lined skink lizard in her driveway. Lucky for the lizard, Joanne knew just what to do since she is a vet tech at Great Falls Animal Hospital – a veterinary clinic that works with Reptiles Alive and other wildlife rehabilitators to save injured wildlife.
After rescuing the skink from the freezing cold driveway, she did some research and set up a temporary enclosure for it inside of her house. She then called Reptiles Alive and brought the lizard right over. It is the first wildlife rescue we have received in 2009.
The skink appeared healthy, but it could not be released into the bitter January cold. So I set up a warm home with plenty of hiding places for it to live until spring, when we will release it back to its home in Joanne’s front yard.
The heavy rains the day before probably washed the skink out of its hibernation burrow. If the temperature had been 55 or above, I would told Joanne to release the lizard, but the cold air paralyzed the reptile and would have killed the lizard very quickly. After being kept indoors for more than 24 hours, the skink would probably not be able to re-acclimate to going back outside in the winter, so we will wait until April to release it.