• Leaping lizards! Florida wildlife officials catch large elusive lizard

    By: AP , Kelly Healey

    Updated:

    KEY LARGO, Fla. - Wildlife officials have finally captured a large invasive Asian water monitor that had been running loose in the Florida Keys for more than a year.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife officials posted pictures on Facebook, with this caption: "Elusive lizard captured!"

    The lizard was more than 5 feet long and weighed 20 pounds.

    Crews of staff members and volunteers had been setting traps and searching for the lizard. Once it was caught, the lizard was removed from the wild. Wildlife officials said this helps prevent the establishment of a new nonnative species.

    Wildlife officers advise people to snap pictures if they see nonnative wildlife and report it to the agency.

    “Don’t let it loose! If you have an exotic pet you can no longer care for, our Exotic Pet Amnesty Program can help,” the post said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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