Bangkok Lumpini Park rangers round up monitor lizards

Rangers in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park have been busy capturing some of the facility’s resident monitor lizard population this week.  Officials attached to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority’s environmental division had estimated there were more than 400 of the reptiles living in the park and that this was too many.

On Tuesday, 12 rangers were deployed to entice the lizards out of their hidey-holes in the park. The rangers used catfish as bait. Once their prey were out in the open other members of the squad tied them up and bagged them ready for transportation to an animal sanctuary in Ratchaburi Province.     

Tawee Somnamee is one of the rangers tasked with relocating the lizards. He told reporters that the team had so far captured about 100 lizards, but he noted the plan was to leave a few for tourists to see. He explained that the Thai translation of monitor lizard word was hia and this was a homonym for a a rude word.

Monitor lizards can reach three meters in length and live as long as two decades. The sight of the lizards stalking across footpaths in Lumpini Park or swimming in the boating lake tends to scare and amaze tourists in equal measures. Monitor lizards feed on birds, turtles and fish and do not usually attack people.

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