Monitors in Florida
Not only Burmese Pythons are plentiful to find in Florida but many exotic lizards, such as iguanas, tegus and nile monitors roam freely through many urban areas and parks in South Florida. Iguanas are still popular pets today. They feed on fruits and vegetables and pose not much of a risk to our native species. Still, their ability to excavate large underground areas causes considerable financial damages each year.
Monitor lizards, such as tegus and nile monitors, are predators and feed on small mammals, birds and even other reptiles. Their voracious appetite for all kinds of eggs poses a serious threat to Florida’s endangered birds and even to the american crocodile population. Many of these lizards have been released by their previous owners or escaped from exotic importers during natural disasters like Hurricane Andrew in 1992. These large lizards have established breeding populations in South Florida. Black throat monitors are not as common as nile monitors but they can becomes just as aggressive. I’ve only been mock attacked twice by monitor lizards during filming and in both instances I simply moved in to close for a better shot. Nevertheless, monitors have very sharp, needle like teeth and a bite can be painful and even cause secondary infection if not treated properly.