It's a discovery that had some people saying "leaping lizards" after a monitor lizard was discovered wandering around the west valley Tuesday morning.
The Black Throated Monitor lizard is about five feet long and it's not native to Arizona. It's a species originally from Africa.
It's not clear if someone purposely abandoned the lizard or if it somehow wandered away from its home.
"This could have been an animal that just literally has gotten away from its owner, maybe they're out of town, it somehow managed to break through a door or something like that and it got out," said Daniel Marchand, who is the curator at the Phoenix Herpetological Society.
For now, PHS is taking care of the lizard at their large facility in north Scottsdale until its owner hopefully comes forward.
"This isn't common everyday occurrence but it does happen, we do see a lot of this stuff in our facility here," said Marchand.
The lizard was picked up Tuesday before noon by Surprise Animal Control near 127th Avenue and Cactus.
Surprise Police staffers posted a picture of the lost lizard on the department's Facebook page, hoping someone will recognize it and come retrieve it. But so far, no luck.
For now this enclosure at the Phoenix herpetological society will be this guy or gals new home. It's obviously a much safer and more comfortable place than being out on the streets.
"We don't want this to fall into the hands of someone who just thinks its cool -- and next thing you know they find themselves in some sort of trouble," said Marchand.
If someone does try to claim the lizard, they will have to provide some pictures or other proof to PHS to make sure it really is their pet.
Phoenix Herpetological Society
20701 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste 107 PMB 401
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
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