Of­fi­cers catch huge lizard that ter­ri­fied Florida neigh­bors

The Bradenton Herald - - News -

Florida au­thor­i­ties have caught a huge lizard that has ter­ri­fied res­i­dents of a sub­ur­ban Mi­ami neigh­bor­hood for months.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion said Thurs­day the Asian wa­ter mon­i­tor lizard mea­sures more than 8 feet long.

The lizard is an es­caped pet. It was first re­ported loose in Au­gust in a Davie neigh­bor­hood. Res­i­dents said it lurked in their back­yards and scratched at their pa­tio doors.

Wildlife of­fi­cers and Davie po­lice of­fi­cers caught it Tues­day af­ter get­ting a tip from a res­i­dent who said the lizard fre­quently ap­peared on his prop­erty around mid­day.

A wildlife com­mis­sion state­ment says the lizard will be re­turned to its owner, who re­ceived a crim­i­nal ci­ta­tion for its es­cape.

Own­ers must have cages to keep th­ese lizards as pets. It’s il­le­gal to re­lease non­na­tive species in Florida.

ERIC SUAREZ Florida Fish and Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion via AP

An es­caped pet Asian wa­ter mon­i­tor lizard is shown Wed­nes­day af­ter it was cap­tured in Davie.

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