Life

By Mollie Tracey


A family who buried their dead pet were stunned when the reptile reappeared on their front lawn – FIVE WEEKS after she ‘died’.

Nala the bearded dragon rose from the dead – after digging her way out of a grave more than a month after she was laid to rest.

Pic by James Speakman/Caters News 

Mum Rachel Haspell, 42, bought Nala from a local pet store in July 2016, after losing her previous bearded dragon to old age.

However, the family was distraught when Rachel found the beloved pet slumped over her water bowl earlier this year, not breathing and lifeless.

Rachel, from Northwich, Cheshire, attempted CPR on Nala before taking her to the vets – who confirmed she had passed away.

Nala was later buried in a cardboard box in Rachel’s garden, however she couldn’t believe her eyes when, five weeks later, she saw the same bearded dragon sunning herself on the back lawn.

All along Nala had been in a state of hibernation, where her heart rate had dropped right down – but when she awoke, managed to dig her way out of her own grave.

Rachel, a former dentistry nurse, said: “The whole family was absolutely devastated when we thought Nala had passed away.

“After noticing that Nala wasn’t breathing I panicked, I tried to give her CPR by putting her head in my mouth and her tail was swinging but I still couldn’t see that she was breathing, I even tried chest compressions.

“My dad helped me bury her in the garden, we dug a grave that was at least a foot deep and covered the cardboard box with soil.

Pic by James Speakman/Caters News 

“Even though we were all really upset we knew we had to move on.

“Around five weeks later my dad and uncle came round and all of a sudden they were shouting my name from outside.

“I went to have a look at what all the commotion was about and I saw Nala on my uncle’s chest.

“We all just stood there and looked at each other in shock, we didn’t know what to do, they had found Nala sunning herself on the lawn.

“Thankfully she is now back to her normal self, and has become quite the celebrity in the local area.

“I cannot believe we buried her alive, I think it’s really important for other owners and vets to know about hibernation, I would hate for anyone else to make the same mistake that I did.”

She added: “We’d had a really hot day and so I put Nala outside with my pet hedgehog Mowgli.

Pic by James Speakman/Caters News 

“Later on that day I went to get Nala but I saw that she was slumped over her food bowl, she had been sick and wasn’t moving.

“I picked her up and her tail moved, but she was black all underneath where she is usually a pale orange colour.

“When I took her to the vet, I told them what her symptoms were but all the vet said after taking a look at her was that she was dead.

“I placed her in a shoe box, but we weren’t ready to bury her just yet and over the next few days, I regularly checked on her.

“My youngest son, Louie, 12, was really affected, he really missed Nala and it was horrible to see how upset he was.”

However, five weeks after burying her beloved pet, Rachel had the shock of her life when the dragon appeared in her back garden, alive and well.

Rachel said: “We just couldn’t believe our eyes, but I knew I needed to check it was actually her and so I looked at her tail as I knew she had a little knobbly bit on the end, it confirmed it was.

“The box was made from really thick cardboard but she scratched her way out and dug her way through the soil.

Pic by James Speakman/Caters News 

“I guess it must have taken her a good week to break free, but she was so fat that I assume she must have been eating all of the worms as she went along.”

Rachel called the vets, who at first didn’t believe her, but agreed to see Nala free of charge.

However it was due to her own research that Rachel found Nala had entered a state of brumation or hibernation, after over exposure to warm temperatures or bright lights.

She added: “The vets were just as shocked as we had been, they checked her over and confirmed she was alive.

“I said, ‘well of course she is’.

“After Nala had entered her hibernation her heart rate dropped to one beat per hour, her body began to shut down and that’s why she appeared dead.

“She fooled everyone, but we are so thankful to have her back.

“She’s a local celebrity now, whenever I take her out and about, everyone wants a picture with the dragon that came back to life.”