This little native skink came into the centre earlier in October and he has recently been released back into the wild.
Here are some facts from sciencelearn.org.nz : Skinks and geckos are the only 2 native families of lizard found in NZ (Tuatara are not lizards!). All our native skink and gecko species are endemic. Some scientists believe that the skink arrived 40 million years ago from New Caledonia, other scientists believe that they only arrived in NZ within the last 20 million years.
NZ has 33 species of skink. They vary in colour and size, they blink to keep their eyes clean, they can regrow a lost tail, they have a good sense of smell, hearing & sight, they are good swimmers, sprinters and climbers.
They have little scales that look a bit like fish scales and instead of shedding their skin in one piece, they rub their skin off in small patches.
Here's a fun fact: some species have been observed nodding and tail wiggling at each other!!
The main threat to these little cuties are introduced predators (mostly cats in urban areas) and habitat loss.
This little guy (or girl) has been released to (hopefully) live a full and happy skink life :)