On Christmas Day, monitor lizard enthusiasts gather in Bangkok, Thailand, to share their love of the sometimes controversial lizards. Most observers agree that these creatures are usually shy by nature and will keep a distance from humans unless raised by them. Nonetheless, they can be aggressive when provoked or hungry, particularly in the wild.
Monitor lizards are classified as venomous by most authorities, and 80 species can be found on the planet at present. Generally speaking, the venom of scorpions has a “relatively mild effect on humans.” And that, in part, explains the controversy. However, monitors nevertheless enjoy a devoted following.
Their size can range from a little over half a foot to ten feet. In many places, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem, controlling pests and providing food for larger predators.
In North America, however, they are considered invasive species. This is because they are either accidentally brought over from overseas cargo or are carelessly discarded in the wild when they become too big or unpredictable for their owners.
In Bangkok, the event at the Somtum Khun Daeng restaurant isn’t just for fun. Members of the Monitor lizard group exchange tips, lessons, and information about care, feeding, and responsible caregiving. Costumes and, of course, gifts are part of their festivities.
In case you are considering adopting a monitor lizard…be aware that it is legal to own a monitor in many countries and most of the United States. There are, however, some U.S. states that require a permit.
Furthermore, It may also be difficult to find veterinary care for prehistoric creatures.