A 3 1/2 foot, 3 lb nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) has gone missing from Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Th
A 3 1/2 foot, 3 lb nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) has gone missing from Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.
The reptile may have escaped through the back door of the zoo, which was left ajar.
“We may have had one of our monitor lizard escape the building this morning (June 19) within the last 45 minutes,” Paul ‘Little Ray’ Goulet, CEO of Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre wrote on Facebook. “There is a small chance he is still in the building however we believe he was able to get out through our back door which was ajar. Although this animal possesses no threat to people or pets and will very much be nervous and avoid individuals and animals we believe we have a small window of opportunity to find and retrieve the lizard if indeed he is outside as we are very concerned for his welfare.”
As of June 21, there was a possible sighting of the nile monitoring a bus shelter. The sighting was not confirmed, according too Little Rays. There is also a cash reward for anyone who sees the lizard and calls the zoo who will send someone out to confirm the sighting. Little Rays urges anyone who sees the reptile to call them and not try and capture the animal themselves to ensure the safety of the lizard as well as those who see him.
Anyone who sees the reptile is urged to call the zoo at 613-807-6889.
Nile monitors are native to Africa and are invasive in Florida. The reptile can grow to more than six get in length and are known to have aggressive and ill-tempered attitudes. They are semi-aquatic and are rarely found away from water. The species is kept by expert keepers and are not recommended for those new to the hobby. While that 10-inch nile monitor hatchling may look cute at your local reptile store, they get very large and require expert care.