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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    03.07.10 @ 06:18 AM
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    Leapin' Lizards! Take A Look At What Has Taken Up Residence In My Back Yard!

    By now you folk are fairly familiar with the various "off the wall" stories regarding life in South Florida that I enjoy posting here at the Links. Well, this one strikes close to home. My home, to be exact.

    For roughly two weeks now, we've had a rather steady and predictable amount of rainfall in the area. That may or may not be a contributing factor to the events of early this morning. Over the past several evenings, one could hear some loud rustling sounds emanating from the trees lining the fence in my back yard. These were initially dismissed as being caused by one or more of the feral cats roaming the neighborhood. Since the area was quite waterlogged, no further inspection was possible.

    Things have dried up somewhat as of this morning, and while attending some early yard work, I found the source of the noise: an approximately 4 1/2 foot long monitor lizard! I had no camera at the ready, so here is an image...



    Animal control has been called. These are not the sort of creatures one approaches with a sandwich in one hand and a garbage bag in the other.

    Here is an article from a while back which explains the reasons more and more of these things are showing up in local neighborhoods.

    Exotic Pet Animals Run Loose, Plenty In South Florida

    Release from:
    Abby Goodnough
    New York Times

    MIAMI -- Burmese pythons are wrestling alligators in the Everglades. African monitor lizards, ill tempered and up to 7 feet long, are splashing through canals in Cape Coral. Vervet monkeys hang around a car rental lot near Fort Lauderdale; Cuban tree frogs have colonized everywhere, gobbling native frogs as they go.

    The southern end of Florida is teeming with exotic beasts. As if alligators, panthers and other native creatures were not enough, the steamy swamps, murky waterways and lush tree canopies here are a paradise for furry, scaly, clawed, fanged and otherwise off-putting things that have no business roaming this side of the equator.

    "This stuff doesn't happen in New Jersey, it doesn't happen in Ohio, but in South Florida it happens constantly," said Todd Hardwick, whose trapping business gets 60 calls a day from people with caimans in their driveways and tool sheds.

    More imported animals are flown to Miami than any other American city but New York and Los Angeles. Breeders, dealers and owners of exotic pets abound. And when pet lovers find their boa constrictor has outgrown its cage, or they move or meet a mate who will not abide anteaters or prairie dogs, South Florida presents the perfect dumping ground.

    Witness the Nile monitor lizard, dagger-clawed, blue-tongued and voracious. Monitors have multiplied so quickly in canals around Cape Coral, on the southwest coast, that a scientist at the University of Tampa won grants last year to study their ecological impact.

    Thirty-nine monitors have been caught and killed in the region since summer, said Kenneth Krysko, a University of Florida herpetologist assisting with the project.

    "It's really sad, because this is such a beautiful lizard, just a magnificent species," Krysko said. "But no one realizes the ability this animal has to tear off your cat's head with one twist."

    Green iguanas are now so common in South Florida that Hardwick has given up answering calls about them. His favored solution? A good hard freeze, which many of the "alien invader species," as he calls them, would be unlikely to survive.

    But the last time on record that the mercury dropped below 25 in Miami was, well, never.

    "Maybe in 200 years," Hardwick said, "we're going to be calling a lot more things native."
    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/southf...xotic2004.html
    Last edited by chefcraig; 10.03.07 at 11:19 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  2. #2
    Good Enough vhrocker's Avatar
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    01.21.15 @ 08:57 AM
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    DAMN!!! I need to grab my guns and call up my buddies and go down there and go lizard hunting.
    ALEX IS GOD!!!

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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    I used to get these in my house all the time.
    They went away around the same time I quit doing drugs.
    Good thing, too. I must have gone through fifty gallons of spackling compound repairing all the bullet holes.

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    06.12.16 @ 07:51 PM
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    you sure thats not an iguana? a friend of mine used to have a rather large iguana, and it looked alot like that. if thats the case, catch it ! theyre cool as pets. except for when they shit on you. then its not so fun.
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    then ill build it from the mexican side. -my reply.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Iguanas > Cats.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    03.07.10 @ 06:18 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisca View Post
    you sure thats not an iguana? a friend of mine used to have a rather large iguana, and it looked alot like that. if thats the case, catch it ! theyre cool as pets. except for when they shit on you. then its not so fun.
    Bingo. Here's an update: The land my house sits on (and everything else in this town) 50 years ago was Florida swampland. Fill was dug, forming several canals that bisect the city. The houses in this neighborhood are a mere six feet above brackish, murky swamp water. Coincidentally, these things (called Green Iguanas, by the way. My neighbor referred to the thing as a monitor lizard, so that's what I called it) use canals as their own personal turnpike. The various canals around town form a sort of reptilian superhighway, which the creatures flee to whenever frightened.

    This goes a long way toward explaining how quickly they have taken over the neighborhoods of South Florida, as the canals are everywhere. Our town's public works plant sits adjacent to one of these canals, and the workers there see the creatures daily. And of course, my house is less than 200 feet from such a canal.

    Due to the size of the thing, it's assumed this is a mature specimen, as full grown they can measure up to six feet in length. Animal Control averages between 10-20 calls per day regarding these creatures. We can expect assistance later in the week.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 10.03.07 at 01:18 PM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  7. #7
    Eruption
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    10.19.17 @ 03:51 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisca View Post
    you sure thats not an iguana? a friend of mine used to have a rather large iguana, and it looked alot like that. if thats the case, catch it ! theyre cool as pets. except for when they shit on you. then its not so fun.
    I think you are right. Don't monitors have longer snouts and no weird looking curly skin on the backs of their heads? I think monitors actually resemble what a smaller version of the kamoto dragon (sp?) would look like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monitor_lizard

  8. #8
    Eruption
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    That's crazy (basically being on old swamp land).

    I'm guessing basements aren't all that common then.

    Well Chef, you've cooler animals in your neighborhood than I do.

  9. #9
    Good Enough KRAMER5150's Avatar
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    08.22.16 @ 01:33 PM
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    holy shit
    I used to wonder why he was grinning all the time(Michael Ian Black talkin about EVH on VH1 I love the 80's) but then i realized the reason he's grinning is because he's Eddie F*#king Van Halen

  10. #10
    Good Enough Tropical Storm Tracey's Avatar
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    11.18.17 @ 07:19 PM
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    Several years ago one of those things got caught in my fence. Scared the hell out of me but we managed to get it in a cat cage after we wrestled it out of the fence. Come to find out some neighborhood kids knew where it belonged and got the owner before Animal Control got there. I was so glad they did because it was one of the animals that belonged to Sci Port (a really cool science and learning place for kids here) and it had been taken home with one of the animal workers while they were working on his exhibit. They are really neat but it kind of freaked me out-LOL!!

    TST<------------glad it didn't bite me-------------

  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    03.02.10 @ 03:28 PM
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    The stockbroker-type guys across the courtyard have a 4 1/2-foot green iguana as a pet. They keep him in a homemade chicken wire habitat cage on the terrace. The lizard must have escaped a couple of times cause, every now and then in the middle of the night, I'll see them with flashlights in hand, going through the bushes and making sounds that no self-respecting cat or do would ever answer to. The lizard is kinda cute from behind his cage.
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  12. #12
    On Fire 3_6_9 time's Avatar
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    07.29.13 @ 10:00 PM
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    Craig,
    I also think it's an Iguana -not a monitor. If you go down to Griffin road between University and Davie you can see TONS of them by the canal. That being said I still wouldn't go the sandwich and garbage bag route.

 

 

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