Large lizard may be on the loose in central Hamilton

A monitor lizard held by a keeper at Little Ray’s Nature Centre. The reptile is similar in size to one that escaped that facility on June 21, 2021. Little Ray's Nature Centre

A private zoo in Hamilton that specializes in showing off reptiles believes one of its large lizards escaped the facility on Saturday morning.

Little Ray’s Nature Centre revealed that the one metre (3.5 feet), three-pound monitor lizard named ‘Morkhor’ likely left via a rear door of the building at Barton Street East and Gage Avenue North on June 19, according to a press release.

“There is a small chance he is still in the building, however, we believe he was able to get out through our back door which was ajar,” the zoo said.

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The centre says the three-year-old male lizard is “no threat to people or pets” but probably will be nervous and should not be approached if spotted since he has been described as quick. Catching will require a specific plan and expertise, the zoo added.

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“He is extremely fast … and will be very much afraid and defensive and will almost certainly try to bite if someone is to grab him,” the centre said in its statement.


The agency says it’s concerned for the welfare of the lizard as it would likely not do well in a city environment.

“We believe we have a small window of opportunity to find and retrieve the lizard if indeed he is outside,” Little Ray’s said.

Hamilton police say they have no reports of any reptile being spotted in the city as of Monday afternoon.

The city’s animal control department has been notified and will respond to any sightings. They also recommend that residents not approach the reptile if seen.

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The lizard is the same breed of one that was seen wreaking havoc at a supermarket in Thailand last April.

Roughly 1.8-metre-long, the water monitor clambered up tall shelves in the corner of the store, seemingly unfazed by the panicked customers or falling merchandise around it.



— with files from Josh K Elliot


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