One-metre long tropical lizard found sunning itself in Exeter park

Tropical lizard captured in Exeter park
The tropical lizard was found sunning itself near the River Exe in Belle Isle Park. Credit: Exeter City Council

A metre-long tropical lizard has been found sunning itself in an Exeter park.

The creature was spotted by a woman walking through Belle Isle Park, which overlooks the River Exe and is just off the Topsham Road.

She alerted park keepers, who had to cut the grass to get to the lizard.

A spokesman for Exeter City Council said:

"Park keepers in Exeter made an unusual discovery when cutting grass – a metre-long monitor lizard.

"Although the UK is sweltering in tropical-like temperatures the reptile is not a native species and is usually found in places like South-East Asia or Australia.

"The lizard was spotted by a member of the public in the wooded area of Belle Isle Park. The woman notified Exeter City Council parks staff who managed to locate it in long grass."

It's thought the reptile, which is now being looked after by tropical experts at Exeter Exotics, had been living in the wild after escaping.

Monitor lizards do secrete venom which can kill their prey, it is not fatal for humans.

They can grow up to 3m in length and are naturally shy - but they can cause a dangerous bacterial infection if they bite.