A shocking video revealed that Florida is facing a scary fight against this invasive species

Jun 5, 2024

Florida is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the country.

Now foreign species are being released into the state. 

And a shocking video revealed that Florida is facing a scary fight against this invasive species.

A five-foot-long lizard was spotted crossing the road in Florida 

The alligator has become the unofficial mascot of Florida.

Now it could have competition in the large reptile department.

A woman in North Port, Florida was startled to see a five-foot-long lizard shuffling across a busy road.

Renee Aland and her daughter, Zoey Marzonie, were driving down Hillsboro Road when they saw the unusual sight.

“He’s huge,” Aland said on a video posted to social media. “He’s just strutting across the road. He’s heading to the other side of the road.”

Marzonie asked if they could move in for a closer look at the strange lizard.

“Nope, just stay in the car,” Aland said.

Aland contacted officials at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who told her that she couldn’t file a report without photographic or video evidence.

She thought at first that it was another alligator crossing the road.

“When we got closer, I looked, and I saw his tongue, [a] lizard tongue coming out, and I was like, ‘Oh, crap, that’s not a gator!'” Aland told WBBH-TV.

Marzonie said that the mysterious lizard reminded her of the pet lizard Mrs. Kipling on the Disney Channel show Jessie.

“It was like this big lizard, and I’ve seen something like it before. Have you heard of the show Jessie for Disney Channel? It was like that big lizard in ‘Jessie,'” Marzonie said. “It was just strolling. It was huge, at least four, five feet. It was pretty crazy. I wanted to get out and get closer, I was like what is that? I wanted to see it but she said, ‘No, stay in the car.'”

Wildlife officials suspect it was an Asian monitor lizard 

Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Officials reviewed the video that Aland took of the lizard and concluded that it was most likely an Asian monitor lizard.

“We believe it to be an Asian water monitor (Varanus salvator) but are unable to definitively confirm identification based on this video,” FWC said in a statement. “Monitor lizards are considered high-priority species for the FWC’s Nonnative Fish and Wildlife Program. Our biologists are still gathering information related to sightings of this animal to determine potential response efforts and will continue monitoring.”

The Asian monitor lizard is the second largest lizard world and can grow to be 10 feet long.

Their diet consists of birds, rodents, fish, crabs, snakes, and small mammals.

“It was really cool, never seen anything like that before, but the concern is what it is doing to our native wildlife,” Aland said. “Obviously, they’re pretty voracious eaters, so I can’t imagine they’re good for our ecosystem.”

Invasive species have become a problem in Florida with Burmese pythons, green iguanas, and cane toads being introduced into the state.

Now the Asian monitor lizards could be the latest foreign species to enter the state’s ecosystem.

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story. 

Latest Posts: