Iguana caught near Leisure Park-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
A FIVE-FOOT-LONG monitor lizard, locally known as “Iguana,” was caught Wednesday in the sea few meters away from the Paseo del Mar in Zamboanga City.
The Paseo del Mar is a more than two-hectare Leisure Park, the newest tourist attraction located in between the historical Fort Pilar and Lantaka Hotel by the Sea, the oldest hotel in the city.
Amilpasa Bandaying, the mayor’s executive assistance for Muslim affairs, said on Thursday that he learned of the presence of the monitor lizard after he observed the terrified Badjaos scampering for safety on board their vintas.
Bandaying used to go to Paseo del Mar every morning for fishing as a hobby.
He asked the Badjaos and they pointed to the reptile creeping like a snake in the sea.
Bandaying said he asked the Badjaos to catch and bring the monitor lizard to the land.
Monitor lizards could run up to 18 miles per hour on land and swim under water for an hour at a time.
They are carnivorous, although some species like Varanusbitatawa, Varanusmabitang and Varanusolivaceus are also known to eat fruits.
Mayor Celso Lobregat called City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Reynaldo Gonzales to take care of the monitor lizard, which was believed to have escaped from a cage.
The monitor lizard was later taken to City Hall where Lobregat turned it over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for protection. (Bong Garcia)