Miracle lizard ‘comes back from the dead’ just in time at pet crematorium

A "miracle" pet iguana appeared to come back from the dead at a crematorium just as his owners had given up hope and accepted he'd passed away.

Frank, who was adopted by Larissa Palmieri, 30, after being cruelly abused by his first owner, shocked everyone when he groggily opened his eyes after appearing lifeless for at least six hours.

Secondary school teacher Larissa was heartbroken when she woke up on Wednesday morning and found 10-year-old Frank "cold and floppy" with his eyes closed, Manchester Evening News reports.

She scooped him up, wrapped him in a blanket and put him next to the radiator to try and warm him up, but Frank didn't open his eyes.

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Larissa, who had grown even closer to Frank during lockdown, said she tried to revive him in her arms for six hours.

“For him to just be lying there in a really awkward position was horrible," she said.

"His mouth was floppy, his mouth was grey where it would usually be pink, I couldn't even open his eyes to check his response.

“I grabbed hold of him, he was really limp and floppy."

The pet enthusiast who also owns several other reptiles and a cat called Alfie (who is Frank's best pal) said she knew iguanas could start to shut down if they got too cold, but had his heat lamps on.

After hours of trying to revive her much-loved lizard, Larissa called her mum Gill to share the bad news, and asked staff at Legacy Pets crematorium in Prestwich, Bury, to come and collect him.

"I wrapped him up and put him on the doorstep, it was one of the worst moments I can ever possibly imagine going through. I was distraught – he's my little baby is Frank," she said.

But when staff checked him over at the crematorium, Frank started to twitch – and even opened his eyes.

A Pet Legacy staff member said: "Frank very slowly and sluggishly moved one of his front legs and his eyes had very slightly opened."

Gobsmacked staff called a reptile specialist to explain what was happening, and they explained some reptiles can go into 'cold-shock' – where they appear dead but are actually still alive.

They then surrounded Frank with heaters and called Gill and Larissa with the incredible news.

The mum and daughter raced down to Pet Legacy, where staff were waiting for them.

The staff member added: "When his owner arrived, Frank heard her voice and immediately his eyes snapped open and he swung his head round to look at her,.

"His owner broke down in tears and scooped him up for a cuddle. There are no words to describe how she was feeling.

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  • "Our team couldn’t quite believe it, if Frank’s owner had chosen any other crematorium, these checks may not have taken place and who knows what may have happened to poor Frank."

    Larissa said Frank is now in perfect health and enjoying being back at home so he can play with Alfie.

    The animal lover and her partner are looking for a new home – and Frank will, of course, be getting his own bedroom.

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