Video: Rescued Bearded Dragon Mocked as ‘Quasimodo’ Because of a Spinal Deformity Goes From Laughed at to Loved, Becoming Esmeralda

For Immediate Release:
April 6, 2016

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

A beautiful sunset-colored bearded dragon was once kept in a barren bin in a PetSmart supplier’s warehouse, where she was called “Quasimodo,” after the Hunchback of Notre Dame, because of a spinal deformity. Since she couldn’t be bred or sold, she was kept as a lonely sideshow-style novelty—but little did the facility know that PETA had an eyewitness there to document its widespread neglect. The observer, who also documented that animals were left without water or veterinary care, acquired the unique lizard from the company and whisked her away. Now at PETA’s headquarters, she has finally experienced kindness, and she can burrow to her heart’s content, relax in her hammock, bask under a heat lamp, and enjoy fresh veggies and warm baths from PETA staff members, who have renamed her Esmeralda.

Video of Esmeralda‘s transformation is available here.


Esmeralda is now looking for someone to adopt her, but no cathedrals are required—just a loving home! Anyone interested in adopting her should e-mail [email protected]. I’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Many thanks.

More information on Esmeralda is available here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind