A gecko was found scaling a bin outside a McDonald's restaurant.

The exotic leopard gecko, named Bin Lizzy by charity staff, was found outside the fast food restaurant in High Road, North Finchley, on March 7 at around 1:30pm.

The member of the public who found him placed him in a box and called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for advice.

Found in warmer climes, the reptile might not have survived the night in the open, so charity asked the finder to take him home and keep him warm until an RSPCA officer could pick him up. 

Animal rescue officer Lee Ricketts said:  “My first instinct was to go and check the bin to make sure the lizard had not been obviously abandoned, as there may have been a box with others inside the bin."

Finding no other lizards, he went to collect Bin Lizzy.

Ham & High: Leopard gecko Bin Lizzy was found scaling a McDonald's bin and could have died if not for a member of the public spotting himLeopard gecko Bin Lizzy was found scaling a McDonald's bin and could have died if not for a member of the public spotting him (Image: RSPCA)

He added: “He was very tame and appeared healthy, if not a little overweight.

"It's hard to tell if it's been abandoned by the bins or if it was an escaped pet as it was an unusually warm, sunny day."

Geckos are different from other lizards in that they lay eggs in pairs instead of large clutches, and can make chirps and barking noises. Most geckos also lack eyelids and have sticky toes that enable them to climb walls - or bins.

Leopard geckos are native to regions of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Nepal, and have specific needs including controlled temperature, lighting and humidity and specific dietary requirements.

Lee added: “He was very lucky to be contained and collected so quickly almost certainly wouldn't have made it through the night due to the cold."

Bin Lizzy was immediately transferred to a private boarding facility that specialises in exotic animals and is being well cared for.

Leopard Geckos can grow to around 15 to 25 centimetres and live for 10 to 20 years in captivity, so owning one is a big commitment, the RSPCA says.

Lee said:  “We are finding that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, which we believe may be why we are rescuing hundreds of reptiles every year. 

“Reptiles may look resilient and tough on the outside but they are actually completely reliant on their owners to provide the correct environment for the species, including heating and lighting, and an appropriate diet - which are essential to keep them healthy and allow them to carry out their natural behaviour."

A healthy gecko has clear, bright eyes and a thick tail. Its belly should only touch the floor when resting.

“Without proper care they can suffer from serious diseases and, in severe cases or if left untreated, they can die," Lee added.

"It is not always easy for an owner to tell when they are ill, fearful or suffering and by the time they are taken to a vet, if at all, it can be too late.”

Anyone who has lost a leopard gecko or knows who he may belong to, should contact the RSPCA's inspectorate line on 0300 123 8018 quoting incident number 01232428.