Air NZ: airline of choice of... lizards?!

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Air NZ: airline of choice of... lizards?!

Air New Zealand passengers may have been a little surprised when they turned to their neighbour to make polite chit chat only to find a lizard beside them.

No less than 260 tuatara lizards were transported by the Department of Conservation by helicopter from their home in Takapourewa in the Marlborough Sounds to Wellington, where they boarded commercial flights to Gisborne, Hamilton and Dunedin. Each one travelled in the cabin alongside passengers, housed in its own travelling tube complete with Air New Zealand baggage tag.

Just fancied a holiday Final Call wondered? Not quite. The transfer was to reintroduce the tuatara into parts of the country where, once upon a time, their ancestors slithered around.

Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe was on hand to welcome them to Wellington and help them board their flights.