Sale of ‘Dangerous’ 5 Foot Lizard Intercepted in Sullivan County
A 'Dangerous Animal' was listed for sale in Sullivan County, so the DEC jumped into action.
5 Foot Long Lizard Intercepted in Hudson Valley
In a press release, the Department of Environmental Conservation shared that in early May Investigator Bastedo came across an online ad selling a 5-and-a-half-foot-long Asian Water Monitor Lizard. It's illegal to sell a wild animal, like the Asian Water Monitor Lizard, in New York State. So, Bastedo reached out to the seller through email who, according to the press release, was selling the lizard for $1,400. He then negotiated the price and knocked it down to $1,000.
Investigator Bastedo then made plans to meet with the lizard seller at a later date. When the date arrived, on May 16th, Investigator Bastedo joined by Investigator Conway went to meet with the seller and had Environmental Conservation Officer Doroski on standby.
After identifying themselves they gave the seller an appearance ticket and due to the price, it is considered a misdemeanor.
To have an animal like the Asian Water Monitor, the DEC requires a "Dangerous Animal License." The license, according to the DEC, is only issued for "scientific, educational, exhibition, zoological, or propagation purposes" and not for people to keep them as pets.
Are Asian Water Monitor Lizards Dangerous?
Since you need a Dangerous Animal License to have an Asian Water Monitor, how dangerous are they exactly? A-Z Animals explains that while Asian Water Monitor Lizards are usually docile creatures, they can become dangerous when provoked. The site writes:
Asian water monitors can be dangerous when provoked. They have an arsenal of weapons, including their powerful jaws, serrated teeth, sharp claws, and muscular tail.
The lizard was taken to a reptile facility with the proper required licenses.
You may not be able to own an Asian Water Monitor, but there are some exotic animals that you can call a pet in New York State, take a look:
10 Exotic Animals You Can Legally Have as Pets In New York
The Most Dangerous Animals In New York State
10 Animals That Are Illegal To Keep As Pets In Connecticut And New York