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Exotic, Tailless Gecko Rescued on Local Bike Trail

Skutt Catholic's own Jeremy Moore finds and saves a very lucky critter

Ezma+on+the+edge+of+the+sidewalk+where+Jeremy+Moore+found+her.+
Ezma on the edge of the sidewalk where Jeremy Moore found her.

Ezma on the edge of the sidewalk where Jeremy Moore found her.

Photo by Jeremy Moore

Photo by Jeremy Moore

Ezma on the edge of the sidewalk where Jeremy Moore found her.

Maria Miller, Birdfeed Editor

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Future Skutt Catholic president Jeremy Moore was riding bikes with his children on a trail near their house when they spotted a creature definitely not native to Nebraska’s prairie habitats. The family had stumbled upon a small leopard gecko who had lost its tail, and knew they had to lend a helping hand to this unlikely friend.

“I picked her up and put her in the bike trailer pouch with my daughter, then rode home,” explained Moore. “That night I brought it to Coach Engelkamp and he took it from there,” he continued. Skutt Catholic zoology teacher Mr. Engelkamp took the female gecko in, put her in a spare enclosure in his room from old zoology students, and attempted to feed her a couple of crickets to no avail.

The following Monday, the gecko hit another stroke of luck when Skutt Catholic happened to have a veterinarian in house. Dr. Michelle Hanna who works at The Pet Clinic on 140th and Center in Omaha, was watching her son, Will Hanna, give his senior studies presentation. Immediately afterward, she ran down to D118 to give the newfound gecko an impromptu checkup. Then, she decided the best course of action was to pull her out of the classroom and into the clinic.

Photo by Kelsey Hanna
Ezma before receiving veterinary care.

“When she first came in she was very overwhelmed,” Dr. Hanna stated. “The wound was dirty and her coloring was dark, which indicates that the gecko was mad or upset.” It was no surprise that Dr. Hanna knew just what to do. After a short time under a heat lamp and in a calm environment, she started to eat, her coloring lightened, and she is still reportedly making enormous improvements. On Sunday, she ate for the first time with the help of sophomore Jared Thonen, who donated some of his own leopard gecko’s favorite foods: Dubai roaches and wax worms.

Photo by Kelsey Hanna
Ezma after receiving veterinary care.

With the gecko, who has recently been dubbed Ezma by Dr. Michelle’s daughter, sophomore Kelsey Hanna, in good hands, we turn to the question that still remains: how did a leopard gecko, who would naturally be found in northern India, end up on a bike trail in West Omaha? The consensus was that we will never truly know. However, there are a few likely explanations: her previous owner took her outside to play in the sun and she got loose- then the owner grabbed her tail to try and recapture her, and she detached it to scamper off, or her previous owner did not understand the responsibility of owning this kind of pet and released her into the ‘wild.’

Regardless of how she ended up here, Ezma will be fostered by the Hannas until she regains her full health, which might be sooner than one would expect. Amazingly, with proper care, her tail will most likely grow back within the next 40 days, and she will be on to another next great adventure, possibly right here at Skutt Catholic. Jeremy Moore has a perfect plan for little Ezma, “I hope the zoology students can keep her,” Moore said, “I know she would love being a SkyHawk!”

Maria Miller - Flightline Editor-in-Chief

Maria became a member of The Flightline in January of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in slam poetry at Skutt and spends time with her beloved mule, Shoelace, outside of school. You can email her at [email protected]

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Exotic, Tailless Gecko Rescued on Local Bike Trail