APOPKA, Fla. (WFLA) — A central Florida homeowner spotted an unusual sight on his front porch: a huge monitor lizard peering in through a window.
A video, shared by an Apopka man, shows the lizard climbing up the window screen. It eventually lost its grip and went tumbling down.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the lizards “are not native to Florida and are considered an invasive species due to their impacts to native wildlife”. FWC says Nile monitors – native to the Nile River delta in sub-Saharan Africa – were added to Florida’s Prohibited species list in 2021.
Like other invasive reptiles in Florida, FWC says they usually end up in the wild after being released by their owners.
FWC says they encourage Florida residents to report Nile monitor sightings. The agency says to a picture, note the location and send it in using the free IveGot1 mobile app, calling IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), or by reporting online at IveGot1.org.
The agency warns to not attempt to capture Nile monitors. The animals have sharp teeth, strong jaws and sharp claws and, as with any wild animal, will defend themselves if aggravated or threatened, according to FWC.