I was watching, and I noticed this shady character enjoying what appears to be a nice, freshly prepared lizard on a stick in Downbelow. enter image description here

How does a lizard whose destiny is to be cooked over a slumdweller's fire get on a space station? I don't think importation is in this guy's price range, nor does it seem like a likely choice if someone were importing food. Does he have a lizard farm in some forgotten cargo bay? But why lizards, and furthermore why the questionable preparation? Surely if you're raising livestock for consumption you'd put more into your prep than "stab with stick, cook, and eat"? Is he going to eat the scales too?

I feel like the only reasonable explanation for this shot appearing in the show is that there are wild lizards on Babylon 5, and this man catches and eats them. I know there are over a dozen canonical B5 novels, but is the idea of wildlife on B5 ever addressed?

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    Maybe it's a newt – DavidW Jun 15 '19 at 0:03
  • youtu.be/LMrTYUtt0uQ?t=18 – Buzz Jun 15 '19 at 0:16
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    Oy. Uhhh... pretty sure it's never addressed... at least, outside of episodes where bugs and pests show up. There's probably a modest ecosystem - they have gardens after all - and either the lizard was part of it, or some rich fool brought a pet and lost it, which happens enough on Earth that it's responsible for most invasive species. – Radhil Jun 15 '19 at 0:46
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    I think vermin would be a better term than wildlife ... – o.m. Jun 15 '19 at 5:29
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    Regarding your questioning the (lack of) prep, there are plenty of real life examples of street food being basically a whole, cooked animal - often on a stick. – Darren Jun 15 '19 at 8:39

There are likely pests, which we know sometimes get on the station

In the Season 1 episode "Mind War", G'Kar asks Catherine Sakai about an ant that he finds on a flower.

An ant on a flower that was shipped to Babylon 5

Catherine says this about them:

So much gets shipped from Earth, it's hard to keep them out.

We also see Londo unleashing his wrath upon a cockroach-sized bug in his quarters, and realizing with horror that he caught one that was smaller than he thought, so there must be more of them!

So we know that there are at least ants and larger insects on board Babylon 5 as pests.

As we see in "By Any Means Necessary" there is a tremendous amount of cargo going through the station, and the staff is horribly overworked at this point. So even if it were protocol to screen out larger pests, like lizards, it's certainly conceivable that the staff accidentally let something through (or skipped the checks altogether to meet deadlines).

If lizard pests did sneak on board Babylon 5, you can't effectively do pest control on a station five miles long, and Downbelow usually avoids any maintenance fixes anyway.

So if a colony of lizard pests existed anywhere, it would be in Downbelow, where desperate people might catch them and eat them.

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  • It's pretty easy to do pest control on a space station. You just open the door and wait a few minutes, then close the door. – Valorum Jun 15 '19 at 19:41
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    @Valorum insert procedural step: hold your breath – Organic Marble Jun 15 '19 at 19:44
  • @Valorum And tell a quarter of a million humans and aliens to hold their breaths! – Thunderforge Jun 15 '19 at 19:47
  • @Thunderforge - You do it section-by-section, you silly sod :-P – Valorum Jun 15 '19 at 19:48
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    They're probably like rats on early sailing ships – Smock Jun 17 '19 at 15:58

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