Florida Wildlife Commission: Be on the Lookout for Freak Seven-Foot Lizards
|U.S. Geological Survey|
|This is a Nile Monitor lizard, which you should not wrestle|
Nile Monitor lizards, native to Africa, have been popping up around the two counties -- enough times to warrant a hotline and a website dedicated to reporting freak lizard sightings.
The lizard hot spot is the canal along Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, according to the FWC, which just caught two in the area last week -- including a five-foot lizard discovered on someone's patio after it crawled through the doggy door.
They killed both of the lizards they found last week, probably because these things are ridiculous.
"This is a high-priority species for us," Scott Hardin, coordinator of the FWC's Exotic Species Coordination Section, says in a statement. "We plan to go after them aggressively to either try to eradicate them or suppress their numbers if they are determined to be established."
The South Florida Water Management District, which manages the canals, has also been setting up traps and conducting surveys about these lizards.
The FWC says it's caught several freaky lizards in central Broward County, but some were not the Nile species, and they weren't quite sure what some of them were.
The Nile Monitor lizards are "large, predatory" animals that are "known to be very defensive when cornered," the FWC says.
Just in case you were thinking you'd wrestle a seven-foot lizard if you find one at your place, the FWC says it would rather you not do that -- it'd rather you call 888-IVE-GOT1 or go to IveGot1.org to report that bad boy.
These specific lizards are supposed to be living in the Cape Coral area, but the FWC says its main concern is that they could become predators to bird colonies as they've made their way east.
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