Rare Reptile Returned to Lexington Pet Store


LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Petey, the skink, who was stolen from The Most Valuable Pets Store in Lexington on March 19 has been found.

The Most Valuable Pets Store Sales Manager Hannah Huffman picked up Petey from Scott County Animal Control.

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Lexington Police are looking for two people responsible for the unusual theft of a rare reptile.

A skink, a lizard with an ape-like tail, was stolen from The Most Valuable Pets Store in Lexington.

Sales manager Hannah Huffman said the reptile was so rare that the skink was not for sale but rather used as advertising in case anyone wanted one.

The waiting list, they say, can take years.

“He is very rare, he is one of the few captive breeds that are found in the United States. one and without success until last year,” Huffman said.

The skink was apparently the target of two people.

Surveillance video shows a man and a woman the store suspects of taking the reptile from the Solomon Islands.

The incident happened on Saturday when the store closed.

“Unfortunately they came straight to the cage, opened it, took it out and put it on her shoulder under her jacket, then she transferred it to her purse, they kept walking in the store for about a little less than 10 minutes,” says Huffmann.

The now empty cage once housed Petey and the pet store‘s sales manager said that depending on age and size, it could be worth up to $800.

“There’s one of the only skink bits that only eats vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables. He had fresh fruits and vegetables every day,” Huffman said.

Caring for a rare reptile the staff say is not easy.

“There were a lot of factors that go into reptiles, they need the right heat, humidity, just their environment matters,” Huffman said.

And if you happen to find Petey, he has some undeniable characteristics.

“Skinks look like a snake, but with legs and of course it has legs and a tail, but it’s really stocky. It has a very distinct look, it doesn’t look like your typical gecko, bearded dragon or any other pet trade lizard,” Huffman said.

“We don’t want to press charges, we just want him back,” Huffman said. Anyone who recognizes the two in the video is asked to call Lexington Police.


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