PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB) — A bearded dragon is an unusual sight most anywhere. But it’s especially unusual at an elementary school… but it turned one local pet into a viral superstar.
It all began in Monday morning when 6th grader Bella Sellers was getting ready for school.
“I didn’t really get to see her get ready as far as the backpack, I’ve just seen her in passing doing her hair and other stuff. So I didn’t get to see the backpack leave the house at all,” said mother, Tiffany Kennedy.
11 year-old Bella said she sleeps with her brother’s bearded dragon, Jango, on her chest almost every night.
“That night, I put the blanket a pillow and a jacket, and then I slipped him into my backpack in the morning and I just left,” said Sellers.
From then on, Bella held Jango in her backpack with a pillow, blanket and some lettuce for food and headed on to school.
“I just didn’t want him to be lonely,” said Sellers.
Mother Tiffany Kennedy said it was a phone call she never expected to get.
“I was at work and got a phone call from the assistant principal asking if I knew that my child had brought a pet lizard to school, of course I said no,” said Kennedy.
Principal of Breakfast Point Academy, Clint Whitfield said this was his first experience with a student sneaking a pet into school.
“I felt a little bit of shock, little bit of amazement, some curiosity and so it just kind of was definitely a first, I didn’t know how to react,” said Whitfield.
Bay District Schools posted a photo of Jango on social media asking parents to please check their students backpacks before they leave the house. The good natured warnings went viral.
Bella’s father, David Kennedy soon picked up Jango and Bella from school.
“That was one of the most interesting rides home ever, just getting an explanation of why there was a bearded dragon in her backpack,” said Kennedy.
Bella’s parents say their children have always had a passion for animals.
“He’s really loving, he’s not like that mean bearded dragon type, he’s always wanting someone to hold on to,” said Sellers.
“She truly loves the lizard, she truly loves Jango, her and her brother both are both very loving and caring pet owners, they love their animals. I think she just wanted to show him off to her friends,” said Kennedy.
Jango’s getting lots of love now. The story about Jango has been featured on several national news networks across the nation. Jango’s parents say it was his first and last day of school.