Hamilton Zoo has lost a third of the exhibits in its reptile house, with four lizards stolen in a smash-and-grab raid.
Two lime green madagascan day geckos and a pair of bearded dragons - described as being "real characters" - were removed on Friday night, but the theft was not discovered until Saturday morning.
Thieves cut through three sets of padlocked doors to steal the lizards.
Zoo director Stephen Standley believes it was someone either stealing for their own private collection or stealing to order.
Mr Standley says it is illegal for any person to own a Madagascan day gecko outside of a zoo.
Police are investigating and the zoo is reviewing its security.