Pet dragon lizard from Maine dies despite Florida surgery

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MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A pet bearded dragon lizard has died after her owner drove the reptile more than 1,700 miles to a Florida Keys veterinarian for a surgical procedure to remove a massive cancerous tumor.

Sandra Mitchell of Portland, Maine, made the trip with 8-year-old "Beardie" because she said airlines refused to let her carry the reptile in the same aircraft she would have flown in and air freight was not possible due to cold temperatures.

Keys veterinarian Douglas Mader, a reptile specialist, performed the procedure Friday morning. The surgery seemed successful, but the lizard went into respiratory arrest late Friday and could not be revived.

To keep the lizard warm, its carrier was seat belted to the heated front passenger seat. Mitchell and her driving partner took turns sitting in the backseat.

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