DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Adios buckaroo.
A eight foot, 150 pound, Asian water monitor lizard that has been spotted several times in Davie neighborhood over the last couple of months has been captured.
Zack Lieberman, who lives in the neighborhood, said Florida Fish and Wildlife caught the big lizard on Tuesday about three miles from his home.
Last August, Lieberman‘s wife spotted the creature out the patio door of their home which is near the Pine Island Ridge Natural Area. He took a look at the giant lizard by the door and went around the house to shoo it away. But the reptile turned the tables on him and wouldn’t back down.
The lizard was an escaped pet, according to FWC and was returned to its owner. However, the owner was issued a criminal citation for the animal’s escape. While Florida residents don’t need a permit to possess a water monitor lizard as a personal pet, owners do need to meet caging requirements. An inspection was completed to ensure the owner has appropriate caging in place for the animal.
“In this instance, the pet owner came forward and provided us with tips about the animal’s behavior that ultimately helped our biologists capture it,” said Sarah Funck, FWC’s Nonnative Fish and Wildlife Program coordinator. “If you have information about a priority species, such as a monitor lizard or a python that is loose in the wild, it is critical you immediately relay this information to the FWC so we are able to respond as quickly as possible.”
Monitor lizards are known to be aggressive, have sharp teeth and claws, and could knock a small animal like a raccoon or cat or dog or other living things unconscious with its powerful tail and swallow them whole.
Wildlife officers have been trying to trap it for weeks but it wasn’t’ taking the bait.
Monitor lizards are capable of inflicting serious harm not only to animals and people but also to the ecology as they upset the natural scheme of things.
Among their favorite treats are crocodile eggs. Crocodiles are a protected species.