POSTED: 4:15 p.m. HST, Jun 30, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 5:49 p.m. HST, Jun 30, 2014
An 18-inch Malayan water monitor lizard was captured on Friday at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the state Department of Agriculture said.
Members from the Hawaii Air National Guard reported seeing a large black lizard on June 19 running around a maintenance shop near the airfield. Base pest control staff were dispatched but unable to find the lizard.
Officials from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services joined the search on Friday morning but did not find the lizard.
Later the same day, base personnel cornered the lizard and called HDOA to capture it.
Base personnel reported that there was a recent arrival of containerized equipment from Malaysia and it is suspected that the lizard may have been a hitchhiker, the HDOA said.
Water monitor lizards are native to India, China, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea Islands. They live in tropical areas and near bodies of water. They may grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh more than 100 pounds.
Their diet in their native range is varied and may consist of crabs, mollusks, fish, snakes, turtles, birds, frogs, lizards, rodents, eggs, monkeys, small deer, and carrion. In Hawaii, the lizard poses a threat to native and groundnesting birds, according to the HDOA.