- Craig Williams found a four-foot crocodile monitor lizard in his backyard
- The reptiles can grow to be eight feet and are legal to keep as pets in California
- It’s currently in an animal sanctuary and if the owner doesn’t claim it, the monitor will be sent to a sanctuary for exotic animals
A four-foot lizard has been found in Southern California, and authorities think it’s a pet gone astray.
The crocodile monitor was spotted sunning itself on top of a hedge Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of a Riverside home.
The animals can grow up to eight-feet long.
The reptile is a relative of the famous Komodo dragon. It’s native to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia – not California – but it is legal to own them in the state.
A four-foot crocodile monitor, a lizard that can grow to eight feet long, sunning itself on a hedge in Craig Williams’ backyard in Riverside, California
It’s green and yellow with big claws, a long tail and a forked tongue.
Homeowner Craig Williams said his pet was the first to notice the exotic animal.
‘The dogs were upset. So we got them into the house right away,’ Williams said to CBS Los Angeles. ‘Because that type of lizard could do a lot of damage to them and they could do a lot of damage to it.’
If the owner doesn’t claim it, the monitor lizard will be sent to a sanctuary for exotic animals
Crocodile monitor lizards eat small animals, eggs and birds.
Williams thinks the animal may have been there for several days.
‘We had heard it earlier – about 2 o’clock in the morning, attacking a bird in a tree. We came out expecting to find a pile of feathers but didn’t find anything,’ he said.
The big lizard is now being held by Riverside County’s animal services division. If the owner doesn’t claim it, the monitor will be sent to a sanctuary for exotic animals.
The four-foot crocodile monitor, a relative of the famous Komodo dragon, and native to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, was spotted sunning itself on top of a hedge Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of a Riverside home