A man who died after allegedly eating a gecko as a party dare “basically rotted from the inside out” in the days leading up to his death, according to a report. David Dowell’s family says he was in agony before he died, and that his testicles had “swollen up to grapefruits” with fluid leaking from them, the Brisbane Times reports. Despite these grisly symptoms, the family says doctors maintained the side effects were normal after diagnosing him with salmonella poisoning.
Dowell allegedly ate a gecko at a party in December and then woke up the next day feeling ill. Initially thinking it was a hangover, Dowell’s family later called the police after he began to throw up green-colored vomit. His family initially thought the instigator of the poisoning was chicken, but a friend present at the party revealed a far more concerning culprit: “Oh, David ate a gecko that night I’m pretty sure.” The family didn’t receive confirmation from Dowell over whether he actually ate the gecko at the party, but officials say the theory could check out. “It’s possible that if the gecko was eaten, as it was being digested, the salmonella was released, but I have never heard of anything like this before. It just goes to show that things as innocent as geckos can carry disease bacteria,” Mark Turner, deputy chief of the University of Queensland, told reporters.