Asian water monitor found roaming back yard in Davie

Homeowner says lizard is nearby resident's pet

DAVIE, Fla. – A South Florida family got an unwanted visitor this week when they found an Asian water monitor in their back yard.

Trappers were called to the Davie home to capture the unwanted guest, but they've had no luck so far in catching it.

Homeowner Zack Lieberman said his wife spotted the lizard this week. 

"My wife screams and I thought it was the kids, but the kids are right here. She's like, 'It's back.' And I'm like, 'What's back?'" Lieberman said. 

Lieberman took video of the Asian water monitor in his back yard. For the Lieberman family, spotting the lizard has been a reoccurring thing and turning it away has been no easy task.

"He got hip to the idea that I was trying to lure him away and he booked it right back into the forest," Lieberman said. 

But the lizard came back a few days later.

"This time, he was right up against my glass," Lieberman said. 

Lieberman, who is a father to young children, worries about the safety of his children while they are outside.

"They swim. It's a water monitor. He can swim fast, run fast and get a hold of the kids fast," Lieberman said. "One bite from him and it could be devastating."

And the worry extends beyond just Lieberman's property, as other neighbors have spotted the monitors, too.

"Some of my other neighbors have seen him out by the lake. He sunbathes in the back yard," Lieberman said. 

Residents in the area have been pulling out the stops, using raw chicken, mice or anything else appealing to shuffle the lizard away.

"That's the number one concern -- safety of the children," Lieberman said. 

Maria Lieberman told Local 10 News Wednesday that a woman who lives nearby said the lizard is her pet, and came to her house with the animal's cage to retrieve it. However, the lizard hasn't been spotted since the last sighting. 

According to experts, while they're not known to be deadly to humans, an Asian water monitor's bite can be very painful. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Rob Klepper told Local 10 News in an email that Asian water monitors do not require a permit for possession. 

About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.