Stateline Woman Finds Lizard In Lettuce

GENOA (WIFR) -- It's a produce purchase that captured the attention of national websites like DeadSpin and it took place right here in the Stateline.

In a 23 News Exclusive Mike Garrigan talked to a local woman that had a recent dinner preparation take quite a bizarre turn.

When shopping for produce it's not uncommon to find a scale, but according to a Genoa woman one recent produce purchase included scales that surprised everyone.

Victoria:"This Lizard. Not big, but not what I expected in my salad either."
Pat:"You don't often see a lizard crawling out of a sink in Northern Illinois."

Victoria and Pat Gates are animal lovers "we have 7 chickens two cats and one dog," the Gates' said.

Little did they know that a trip to Sam's Club in Rockford would add a new member to their pet list. "His name is going to be Bongo," Victoria said.

The next step for the gates was to find out what kind of reptile their new pet actually was. And while it makes sense that this little creature might be a *salad-mander*. It's not the case.

"Popular opinion is that he's an anole, a baby anole,"Victoria said.

That's a type of lizard that can generally grow to up to a foot long.

"We tried to take care of this poor guy who was in the refrigerator for several days." Victoria said.

So the temporary Tupperware was replaced by a more permanent tank. "My step son Will thought he need some color and entertainment," Victoria said

But perhaps this baseball card ended up being a Cubs curse. Because like Cub fans for a century before him, Bongo would not live to see a Cubs world series. He passed away last week. Leaving the Gates with only a few days of memories and a little bit of national attention.

"I got a text from her and found out it made a whole bunch of web pages and everything else," Pat said.

Victoria says she wasn't really freaked out about finding the lizard in her salad. In fact she told me the fact that a lizard was in the lettuce almost confirms it was organic. Being the lizard would eat any bugs that were on the greens when they were growing.

A spokesman from the local Sam's Club store says he can't comment on quality control issues. But he did say he was aware about the complaint and that it is now being handled by the corporate offices.

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