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FOX West Texas Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Abilene and San Angelo, Texas | myfoxzone.com

Savannah Monitor startles golden retriever at Fort Bend County home

Vanessa Rodriguez said she made the discovery when she let her golden retriever outside. At first, they thought it was an alligator.
Credit: Vanessa Rodriguez

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — What is that? Vanessa Rodriguez said she found a massive monitor lizard on her porch on Sunday. She said it was about a foot long.

She did a little research and determined that it's a Savannah Monitor and it's kept as a pet. That's why animal control wouldn't come to pick it up. Instead, she was told to call a pet store or someone with knowledge of how to handle them to come to pick it up.

Fort Bend County Game Warden Barry Eversole said they got a call about the lizard, but told Rodriguez that they don't handle those type of captures. He insisted that she not release the lizard in the wild, though.

"They (animal control) wouldn’t come out to get it because they don’t pick them up since they are pets. They told us not to release it to the wild since it can affect the wildlife around our home since we live near the creek. They told us to contact a local pet store or to give it away," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez made the discovery when she let her dog outside. Initially, she said she thought it was an alligator. She said her husband trapped the animal in the garage until they were able to identify it.

She said a neighbor had a similar monitor as a pet when he was younger and was happy to take it off their hands. Rodriguez's husband did some research and found out that the lizards are not common in this area. He also found out something else about them.

"My husband did lots of research and they are not common in this area. They actually growl like dogs when they feel threatened, which as you can imagine surprised us all," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said one of her children wanted to keep the monitor as a pet, but Rodriguez said the turtle they have now is already enough to handle.

Credit: Vanessa Rodriguez