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Video: Lizard Found In Salad Becomes Elementary Class Pet

Update Date: Jan 28, 2016 01:46 PM EST

A New Jersey elementary school science class has kept a small, green lizard as a class mascot after a kindergarten student discovered it in some chilled salad greens. It had lived in the salads for a few days.

This was the three-inch anole lizard that was at first lurking in a bunch of tatsoi, an Asian leaf bought from Whole Earth Center. It had become cold and lifeless when it was confined to the refrigerator in Princeton, N.J., before Sally Mason and her daughter Faye found it in the tatsoi, according to Reuters.

When Faye took the reptile to science teacher Mark Eastburn's class in Riverside Elementary School, it became quite popular among the students, who called it "Green Fruit Loop."

"Interesting things can happen when you're working as a science teacher," Eastburn said, according to True Jersey. "We set up a little cage for it. It really came back amazingly well."

"It probably has some moderate adaptation to the cold which is why it made it through," he added.

Eastburn is heartened by the lizard---although his colleagues may not all be---as it teaches two lessons, he says. Organic food seems safe for even the smallest animals, while secondly, in cold months, fresh fruits and vegetables have to be imported from warm regions.

The produce manager of the Whole Earth Center, Mike Atkinson, said that though greens are cleaned as they're stocked, the lizard must have tucked itself away in the leaf.

"I've been in produce for 17 years and I've never heard of a lizard making it to the customer," Atkinson said, according to the Associated Press.

He was also pleased that the lizard's survival proves the strength of organic food, which is typically grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

"It might normally surprise or freak out conventional shoppers, but the majority of organic shoppers realize that produce is grown on a farm and there's lots of bugs and animals that live on a farm too," he added.

YouTube/Mark Eastburn

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