MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A black-throated monitor was discovered Thursday night in a container on board a cargo plane, authorities said.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said the lizard was discovered shortly before 9 p.m. by a worker who found the reptile in a container in the cargo area of the plane.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's venom unit used a dog crate to capture the 4-foot lizard.
Benitez said the lizard was checked out and seemed to be in good condition. She said it was turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"Black throat monitor lizards are native to east Africa -- Tanzania, to be exact," Benitez said in an email. "Like all monitors, if not handled regularly, black throat monitors can become aggressive and lash out at you with their tails, puff up their body, hiss and even deliver a nasty bite. But despite their ability to really hurt you, black throat monitors are known to be pretty docile and have mild temperaments in captivity."
It's unclear how the lizard ended up in the plane.