Magnus, the 5ft-long iguana stolen from his owner's garden shed, has been found in a field by dog walkers.
Magnus was mistaken for a crocodile
The walkers thought the orange reptile with black stripes was a small crocodile and phoned police as soon as they discovered him on Wednesday night.
Magnus was taken from a garden shed in Estbank Road, Ramsbottom, between 2300 BST and 0600 BST on Monday.
It was feared the thieves may have abandoned him as iguanas are renowned for their fiery temper and sharp bite.
Magnus was discovered at about 2250 BST on Wednesday in a rucksack in a field near Thrush Drive in Bury.
The owner, who described the shed as Magnus' "house", was unavailable for comment.