DENVER – A sheriff has warned residents in a tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs that a strong, aggressive 6-foot lizard that eats small animals – including dogs and cats – is on the loose in the area.
Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensinger said Tuesday that a 25-pound pet Nile monitor lizard has gone missing after breaking a mesh leash and crawling away.
Ensinger said about 400 homes in the Woodland Park area were warned. He added that the animal, which escaped Monday and is known as Dino, has not bitten any humans – yet.
“We have a 6-foot reptile out and about,” Ensinger said. “If it gets hungry enough, we don’t know what it will do.”
Ensinger said his animal control division is searching for the animal.
Area resident Rick Stasi said the sheriff’s advisory was unsettling, warning “pet owners and parents are urged to use caution while pets and children are outdoors.”
Bradley Bundy, a veterinarian at Dublin Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, said the lizard could inflict a nasty bite if cornered.
“This kiddo could hurt someone if they don’t know how to restrain it,” Bundy said.