Missing pet lizard reunited with owner

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Cody Whitehead has owned his pet lizard, Pork Chop, for over 8 years.

Pork Chop is a friendly Argentine tegu who got his name from his chubby cheeks.

”I am originally from the desert of California. Someone dumped him out there in the desert. He went for awhile, and no one claimed him. They put him up for adoption and I picked him up. I had him for eight years now.”

Pork Chop's Owner Cody Whitehead

Whitehead says he keeps Pork Chop in an outdoor enclosure. He says the lizard escaped 5 days ago by most likely wedging between the bars of the enclosure.

Whitehead reunited with Pork Chop Wednesday afternoon after a person found him near Calvary Cemetery in Northeast Rochester.

Whitehead says the person refused to take his reward for finding Pork Chop and is thankful for his kindness.

“I am very excited. I was kinda concerned because I thought people would be like, ‘Oh he’s a big scary reptile. Maybe someone would harm him,’ and all that. So, I was worried about getting him back, but I am so excited to get him back, and I really am gonna make sure I fully rethink that cage before I put him back out.”

Pork Chop's Owner Cody Whitehead