A woman discovered a small Reed frog in a bunch of bananas bought from a Lidl supermarket in Surrey, in England. When 71-year-old Jan Giovinazzo took the fruit out to eat, she saw the tiny amphibian looking up at her. She put it in a small plastic box and called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Staff confirmed that the frog had probably travelled 3,200 miles from the Ivory Coast. They collected it from Giovinazzo, who looked after it overnight, and renamed him Lidl. He is in quarantine, until he finds a new home.
Giovinazzo said she always looked for spiders on bananas before buying them but was surprised to find a frog. She believes it is illegal to release non-native species into the outside world. The RSPCA confirmed this, saying it was an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to release the animals into the wild. Stowaways from other countries could have specific care needs, and so must be rehomed with specialist keepers, zoos or wildlife parks who had some knowledge of how to care for them.
Lidl sells bananas with the rainbow alliance logo, which includes a picture of a frog. The company says the symbol proves that its bananas are “sustainably grown”. Giovinazzo shared the story on social media, where friends and other users commented on the find. The RSPCA says the Reed frog is in good health, although smaller than a 10p coin. The charity thanked Giovinazzo for taking care of the creature.