Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Nov 05, 2014
Oh Mony!! I got Mony as a rescue she was about 2 years old, we assumed, and she was meaner that a wet hen. She was a Nile Monitor lizard and my understanding from having briefly dealt with a couple other folks of this species is that all tend to be a little on the mean side. The Nile Monitor is a big dude and a big problem in Florida right now. It's another invasive species and is particularly alarming because they have no specific habitat. They are incredible swimmers and they love nothing more than a meal consisting of an abandoned nest full of eggs. Which is not good for Florida because we already have a huge problem with saving the sea turtle nests. This lizard is probably not gonna make a good pet unless you have a lot of patience, a large space and a twisted sense of humor. These lizards grow to be typically around 5 or 6 feet long but can get to over 7 feet and they way about 20 to 30 pounds. They love to swim! I wouldn't recommend taking them to the pool as the general public is a little hesitant to swim with a six foot lizard from my experience, but if you live near the ocean or lake that is perfect for these guys. It's about the only time I didn't feel like Mony wanted to kill me. These lizards have super sharp teeth and I'm not sure if I mentioned it but their mean! Ok well maybe not mean but they are ill tempered and they don't like to be messed with much, they are extremely strong and they require a lot of work to tame them. For the most part you will be able to feed them the same food you would feed snakes, assuming you're like me and just have various reptiles around the house, this comes in handy. However, their habitat for adults is very large. Essentially they need a bedroom. You will need to keep one end of the room at normal room temperature but one area will need to have heat lamps or something to keep it around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Honestly if you are a lizard lover this lizard is not a bad one to have. It just requires someone that is skilled with reptiles and has the patience and skills to train them. I boarded Mony for about a year until we found her a home and the new owner has taught her amazing things and would probably have a much more flattering review. That being said I am a skilled reptile owner and have had several different breeds of lizards, snakes, etc. and this lizard was too much for me to handle so if you are new to the reptile kingdom, don't make this your first. As with so many reptiles in Florida this guy is considered invasive and as such is not only destroying our indigenous population but most unfortunately it has created a lot of unnecessary deaths in Nile Monitors for the sake of population control. Please don't contribute to this problem.