“Exotic, cat-eating Nile monitor lizards are invading Palm Beach County, Florida to create breeding grounds,” en.yibida.com reports. “As a result, shotgun-carrying wildlife officials are increasing their patrols.” Somehow I don’t think it’s a conscious effort on the part of the lizards, but hey, if it saves just one cat . . . And it sounds like the Sunshine State’s scattergunners are gonna save a lot of felines. “The huge Nile monitor lizards, which can reach over five feet long (152 cm) and 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Note: neither of the animals above is a cat and I’m not exactly sure what’s going on there. Anyway, a little history . . .
In past years they have been spotted from time to time along canal banks in Palm Springs.
The monitor lizards first lived in South Florida as pets. However, several of them have escaped captivity or have been released into the wilderness, becoming a bother to humans.
A bother to humans, eh? Why do I suspect that there’s more to this story than a few missing felines? Maybe I’ve read too many Steven King novels. Or maybe it’s the state’s “take no monitors” approach to the species.
Jenny Eckles works as an FFW (Florida Fish and Wildlife) biologist. She says that due to the lizard population’s small expansion it is possible to “eradicate” them, according to Palm Beach Post.
State wildlife officials throughout the region have been seen carrying shotguns, according to Sun Sentinel. Their goal is to kill as many of the monitors as possible before the start of the breeding season.
So, the state wildlife officials are carrying shotguns. Hmmm. I know! Send in the Chipotle ninjas! As Richard Nixon claimed to reply when presented with the possibility of covering-up the Watergate break-in, we could do that, but it would be wrong.
In Africa, the creatures’ natural habitat, the huge lizards have a history of eating housecats. There have been similar unconfirmed reports in Cape Coral, which have involved disappearing puppies and feral cats.
Various other items are included on the Nile monitor lizard’s daily menu. They include fish, reptiles, owls, and other small mammals.
The good news is that the Nile monitor lizards usually do not show aggression towards humans. However, the FFW has warned that the reptiles have sharp claws and will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
Yeah, that’s a good news, bad news story for sure. So, how about a Nile monitor lizard season?