Hastings lizard is so good they named it twice

Young visitors named the new addition to Blue Reef Aquarium Pedro Strawberry
Young visitors named the new addition to Blue Reef Aquarium Pedro Strawberry

A giant South American lizard has been officially given two names, after a half-term competition at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium.

Pedro Strawberry, an Argentine black and white tegu, is the latest addition to the aquarium’s Jungle Room display area.

Staff at the aquarium decided to enlist the help of their younger visitors to come up with a name for the remarkable looking reptile.

“We ran a competition over the school holidays and invited youngsters to suggest possible names for him,” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.

“There were lots and lots of great entries and it was such a tough decision we ended up giving him two names.

“His first name is now officially Pedro, which was suggested by three-year-old Erika Overy from Hertfordshire, and his second name is Strawberry, which was the choice of Zarah Dennis, aged six, from here in Hastings – strawberries are one of the tegus’ favourite treats too so it is perfect for him.”

As well as having the honour of naming the lizard, both Erika and Zarah also received annual passes to the Blue Reef Aquarium.

No doubt the Argentine black and white tegu, which can grow up to a metre-and-a-half in length and weigh around seven kg, will attract lots of attention at his new home.

Tegus have been known to develop surprisingly close bonds with their keepers despite their impressive dimensions, even learning to come when they are called and in some cases, actively seeking out human company.

“Hopefully Pedro Strawberry will live up to his lovable name and develop a close relationship with his keepers,” said Leanna.

The Blue Reef Aquarium, in Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, is open daily from 10am.

For more information call 01424 718776 or visit www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/hastings.

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