A Pakistani mother who recently relocated to Australia was frozen with fear after spotting a small and harmless lizard in the back garden of her new home.
The woman, who is believed to have moved from Lahore to Sydney, noticed the skink on the patio and feared it was a venomous reptile.
Petrified of the ‘mysterious’ creature, she posted photos in a Facebook community group begging locals for advice on keeping it away from her home.
The post left hundreds in hysterics, with Australians forced to reassure her that no harm would come from the common garden skink, affectionately known as a ‘backyard buddy’ who eats insects and keeps other crawling pests at bay.
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The ‘terrifying’ garden reptile: A Pakistani mother who recently relocated to Australia was frozen with fear after spotting this tiny skink lizard in the back garden of her new home
She posted this message in a Facebook group, begging members for help and advice
What is a skink?
A skink is a smooth-bodied lizard with short or absent limbs, typically found burrowing in sandy ground.
They are found in Australia, Southeast Asia and parts of North America.
‘Hi I am new in Australia and was living in [an apartment] now I am shifted in house (sic),’ the caption begins.
‘Today I saw a reptile in [the] backyard. I am afraid of it. It can come inside or can sit in shoes. Please help me how to get rid of this (sic).’
One mother poked fun at the woman’s naivete with a comment warning her of the ‘dangers’ of the ‘poisonous Australian shoe skink’ – an imaginary animal that does not exist.
‘They grow to over 19 feet long, but when they are babies they hide on shoes and bite off pinky toes,’ she said.
‘Pinky toes are their primary food source for the first year of their lives. They are attracted to foot odours and are highly venomous.’
But kindhearted group members outweighed those who taunted her, with many reassuring the woman the lizard has more reason to fear humans than we have him.
‘Don’t panic. He’s a good guy. He is more scared of you, he will get out of your way, and if he does come inside, he’ll kill any spiders and bugs he finds while he’s there, then leave when he’s ready,’ one woman replied.
‘It’s a skink! They’re so cute,’ said another.
‘They don’t bite and a quite fun to watch. They are really useful at bug control as they eat them. Even the presence of one little fella will keep them away.’
Others thanked the mother for bringing a smile to their face and welcomed her to her new home.
‘Welcome to Australia, we do have a LOT of small reptiles. Most just mind their own business,’ one woman said.
‘It’s just a harmless native. Sorry you were scared by it,’ said a second.
‘Aussies love to tease people with tales about our dangerous animals but most of them are more afraid of us than we are of them.’
A third assured the mother that even Australians get confused by their eclectic wildlife.
‘My sister used to call these baby crocodiles,’ she wrote.