3 lizards on the loose in Wake Forest said to be non-venomous

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Three lizards on the loose in the Bowling Green subdivision in Wake Forest which were originally said to be Gila monsters are in fact non-venomous lizards, said Town of Wake Forest communications director Bill Crabtree.

Courtesy Siddhida Pantya

Some Wake Forest resident spotted the lizards which allowed official properly identify the reptiles.

“He saw it sticking out its tongue and stuff and he called me, he was like, ‘come out quick. I don’t know what this creature is but I need you to help me identify it,’” said Siddhida Pantya.

She says her father spotted a large lizard in their driveway just over a week ago.

“I didn’t know if it was like poisonous, I didn’t want to deal with it,” she said.

Pantya did a search on the reptile and thought it could be a non-venomous Argentine Tegu.

The Town of Wake Forest put out two news releases on the wayward lizards Friday.

The first news release identified lizards seen in the Bowling Green neighborhood as venomous Gila Monsters.

The second release referred to a veterinarian that came to the same conclusion as Pantya.

“You don’t see many of those huge lizards in North Carolina in your backyard,” said Pantya.

But for some reason, the neighborhood has had multiple lizard sightings recently. One was posted in the community’s Facebook page on August 18. Pantya has heard even more stories from neighbors.

“One said it was in a garage. The other said their neighbor thought it was like a mom and had tons of children,” she said.

Veterinarians say Argentine Tegu lizards pose no danger to the public. But, Pantya says they’ll at least be on the lookout for their dog’s sake.


Anyone who spots one of the lizards is encouraged to call Wake County Animal Control at 919-856-6911.

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