Warans are not native to Florida, but there are breeding populations of Nile monitors ( Varanus niloticus ) that are established in several counties and they were spotted all over the state.
A Florida family is afraid to use their swimming pool ̵
The Lieberman family in Davie, Florida, spotted the uninvited visitor in their backyard, reported the Local 10 News ABC of Miami-Dade on August 29. Parents Zack and Maria Lieberman told reporters that the lizard was so large that they feared for the safety of their two small children. [See The World’s Most Bizarre Lizards]
The enormous reptile – identified as an Asian water monitor ( Varanus Salvator ) – measures about 6 feet (2 meters) long, according to Local 10 News. For several days, the scaly intruder appeared several times near the Lieberman House, but has so far been unable to escape capture by local trappers and animal welfare authorities, the Miami Herald reported.
On Aug. 29, a neighbor visited the Liebermans, claiming that the lizard was an escaped pet, the Local 10 News related. But since the lizard was not reported as missing, anyone with a permit could capture it, as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) told 7 News Miami.
A dog working with the trappers briefly detected a smell that led the seeker to a promising-looking structure, but the hole turned out to be empty, according to the Miami Herald.
Warans in the genus Varanus are a group of reptiles with long reptilian necks, split tongues and muscular tails and bodies. They are native to Asia, Africa and Oceania, although some have established themselves as invasive species in America. The genus includes the Komodowaran ( Varanus komodoensis ), which is the largest lizard in the world and can be up to 3 m long.
Fortunately for Floridians, only Komodo dragons are found in the island habitats of Indonesia, but a number of his monitor cousins have made Florida their home after being brought to the US as exotic pets and escaping or released into freedom were. Florida monitor types include crocodile monitors, water monitors, savannah monitors, peach-throat monitors, and two types of black-throated monitors, according to the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida.
Another monitor species, the semiaquatic Nile Monitor ( Varanus niloticus ), is the most persistent and problematic of these reptilian invaders, reported the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Meanwhile the hunt for the strange Asian water of the monitor is continued. In addition to the FWC, Mike "Trapper Mike" Kimmel, a wildlife hunter with Martin County Wildlife Trapper and Removals, is looking for the elusive lizard and trying to lure it with chicken thighs, 7 News Miami reported.
Original article about Live Science.