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Sat Aug 27 15:35:56 SAST 2016

1.5m lizard takes a dip in Pretoria family's pool

Sipho Masombuka | 02 February, 2016 18:39

A Pretoria family had a shock of their lives when a a 1.5 metre lizard took refuge in their suburban home pool on Monday evening.

The 4.5kg lizard water monitor was first discovered behind the family’s rubbish bin before it scurried into the pool.

According to National Zoological Gardens of SA spokesperson‚ Craig Allenby‚ they received a frantic call from a woman in Villeria asking if they could assist.

“She was quite frantic because she had young children in the house and called for help‚” he said.

He said the reptilian creature‚ which had a noose around its neck‚ was rescued from the water.

Allenby said the noose had already caused a great deal of scarring and it was determined that the noose had most likely been there for a long period of time.

He said the lizard's hyoid bone in its throat area had been damaged.

Upon arrival at the zoo it was taken to the Pretoria Zoo's animal hospital for treatment and has now been transferred to its reptile park quarantine facility.

“Water or Nile monitors occur naturally in Pretoria especially along streams and rivers. They are not considered as preferred pets due to their temperamental personalities. It is also illegal to keep one as a pet as they are indigenous in South Africa; no indigenous animals may be kept as pets in this country‚” he said.

Allenby said these lizards were predominantly solitary animals but would move to other water sources in search of new territory or food sources.

“They have been known to raid chicken coops and dove cages in suburban areas. It is envisaged that the lizard will be released after its recovery at the NZG‚” he said.

TMG Digital.

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