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10 feral animals wreaking environmental havoc

By: Sidney Stevens on June 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
Nile monitor lizard

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Nile monitor lizards

[skipwords]These African natives, cousins to the Komodo dragon found in Indonesia, have moved well beyond nuisance status in south Florida, where escapees from exotic pet stores and homes have taken to the wild and multiplied over the last couple of decades. These giants (some up to 7 feet long with razor-sharp fangs and claws) aren’t usually aggressive toward humans unless threatened, but it can be disconcerting to see them wandering across backyard patios, climbing on roofs and sliding into swimming pools for a dip. Most troublesome, though, is their propensity for snacking on native wildlife and fish.[/skipwords]