British Columbia

Pet gecko goes missing on WestJet flight

Meryl Bishop and her pet gecko, Nom, boarded a West Jet flight to B.C. on Sunday morning — and the little lizard hasn't been seen since.

Nom, a tiny gargoyle gecko, has gone missing since she was placed on a WestJet flight to B.C.

Nom is only about 12 centimetres from head to tail. (Meryl Bishop)

A young woman who recently moved to B.C. says her beloved pet gecko, Nom, has been missing since she was placed in the cargo of a West Jet flight more than 48 hours ago. 

Meryl Bishop moved from Ottawa to B.C. to work and attend school. She packed up all her belongings for the journey, taking extra care to make sure Nom — a tiny gargoyle gecko that measures just a bit over 12 centimetres from head  to tail — would be safe on the trip. 

"She's a sweetheart," said Meryl, "She's just a great little gal...  It's been really hard not knowing where she is."

Meryl, who moved from Ottawa to B.C. for work and school, is worried her beloved pet is gone forever (CBC)

When Meryl asked about taking the small pet in the cabin for the flight, she was told that WestJet's policy only allows cats, dogs, birds and rabbits to travel with the passengers.  That meant Nom would have to make the long trip alone in the cargo hold.

Meryl— a linguistic student who named her pet Nom Chomsky [deliberate spelling] in a nod to the American linguist and philospher, Noam Chomsky — carefully packed up Nom early Sunday morning for the flight from Toronto to Vancouver. A damp paper towel was included to provide enough hydration for at least 12 hours. But when she went to collect the lizard after the flight, Nom was nowhere to be found. 

'We are doing everything possible'

When contacted for an interview, WestJet sent an email detailing its search for Nom.

"We are doing everything possible to find and return Nom including engaging baggage and cargo handlers and airport staff in both Toronto and Vancouver," the airline wrote. "In addition, we have issued a nationwide alert to all of our cargo bases to conduct a thorough search of all warehouses across the WestJet network. We will continue to stay in touch with our guest to keep her apprised of the situation." 

While Meryl believes the airline is doing its best to find her missing pet, she worries that little Nom is gone for good. 

 "If she's not found, I'm going to ask for something in return," said Meryl, "even though she's really not replaceable."