Newt found hiding in pack of Aldi celery adopted as pet 3 months ago

Newt found hiding in pack of Aldi celery adopted as pet

Head to supermarket - come back with a pet

A family who found a newt hiding in their supermarket celery have decided to adopted the little critter as a family pet.

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Philip Caterer-Stentiford, 41, discovered the little brown creature hiding in the plastic bag of celery from Aldi when it tumbled onto his kitchen worktop as he pulled stalks from a bunch.

The creature made a speedy break for freedom, so he scooped it up and popped it in an old hamster tank in his lounge.

Philip, wife Karen, 41, and son Archie, four, named the mini beast Larry the lizard, but revised the name to Nigella the newt after some doing some online research.

The celery, originally destined for a family dinner, has also been put in the tank with Nigella so she doesn't feel homesick.

Philip said he’s fostering the newt until the animal is properly identified, so he knows where to release it safely.

He hopes to give the two inch animal a forever home in a nearby wooded area with a natural pond close to the family home in Croydon.

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Philip said: “It was a huge shock, and also a bit of a concern because we’d had some of the celery earlier in the week.

“We felt worried for the animal too.

“It had been stuck in our fridge for six days, and in the shop before that, and had been transported from the farm.

“That’s a long time to be refrigerated.

“It’s exciting too. You really do get attached to things, and Archie thinks it’s very cool!"

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Philip and storage-manager Karen have put a book on top of the tank to prevent pet cats Gin, Tonic, Mohawk and Brutus trying to make an unwelcome visit to Nigella.

The celery was bought as part of the family shop on August 9 at the Aldi store in Selsdon, South Croydon, and the newt was found on August 14.

Philip said Aldi offered a £15 voucher and for the RSPCA to collect the newt, he said.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Whilst extremely rare, this can occasionally occur with products that are grown in natural conditions.

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"We have apologised to Mr Caterer-Stentiford that this product didn’t meet our usual high standards and we have offered a full refund.”