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Leeds sued over lizard poo

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Leeds University is being sued for throwing out lizard excrement collected by a PhD student for his thesis.

Daniel Bennett was shocked when he returned from a trip to find his 5st 7lb collection of excrement from the rare Butaan lizard has disappeared from his desk.

Bennett spent five years collecting samples as part of his research on the animal's diet, population size and behaviour. He then won a scholarship at Leeds University and spent two more years being paid to continue his research in the Philippines.

Bennett told Times Higher Education: "The Butaan is so reclusive that all attempts to study it using methods that have proved suitable for the Komodo dragon and other large lizards have ended in total failure."

"By the beginning of the third year of my PhD, I knew more about lizard faeces than I had ever thought possible.”

"Returning to Leeds from fieldwork, I was surprised to find my desk space occupied by another student and to see that photographs of my daughter, my girlfriend and my favourite lizards had been removed from the wall.”

"My personal effects had been carefully stowed in boxes, but there was no sign of my 35kg bag of lizard shit."

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