Crocodile Monitor Lizard, Native to Tropical Rainforests, Turns Up in California Man's Backyard

Authorities are encouraging the reptile's owners to contact animal control to pick up their pet.

A crocodile monitor lizard is native to the tropical rainforests of New Guinea, far from the backyard where a California man somehow discovered the pesky reptile this week.

“It was here, right on top of this area,” Craig Williams, of Riverside, told KCBS as he pointed to shrubs in his backyard.

Williams explained his family heard the crocodile lizard earlier this week at about 2 a.m. attacking a bird in a tree.

“We came out expecting to find a pile of feathers but didn’t find anything,” he said.

Later that day, his pups discovered the exotic reptile in their backyard.

“The dogs were upset, so we got them into the house right away because that type of lizard could do a lot of damage to them and they could do a lot of damage to the lizard,” Williams said.

He then turned over the lizard to animal control, who confirmed the reptile must have been somebody’s pet.

However, no one has claimed it.

It is legal to keep a crocodile monitor lizard in California, and its owner is encouraged to contact animal control to pick up their pet, according to local authorities.