Trapper determined to capture Nile monitor in Davie neighborhood

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A trapper is working to catch a Nile monitor that has been terrifying residents in a Davie neighborhood.

Davie residents have taken cellphone video of the giant lizard roaming around the neighborhood, and the Lieberman family said it has come a little too close for comfort.

Now, trapper Mike Kimmel is on the hunt to capture the Nile monitor, and the Liebermans are hoping for a sense of relief.

“We saw it right here in this corner, and at first we thought it was an alligator because it was huge,” said homeowner Maria Lieberman. “Then, it had a lizard tongue. It’s pretty creepy. It looked like a dinosaur. My kids were screaming.”

Her 2-year-old and 4-year-old are used to enjoying the backyard, but now they’re too scared to go out.

“He followed me right up to the front of my house,” said homeowner Zachary Lieberman. “God forbid, the speed that he has, to get to a small child would be pretty quick. I don’t want anything to happen to my kids or any of the kids in the neighborhood.”

Experts said the Nile monitor is usually found in Africa.

The Liebermans said someone knocked on their door and claimed that the Nile monitor was their pet that got away. However, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, because the person did not report the lizard missing, anyone with a proper permit can trap it.

Kimmel with Martin County Trap and Wildlife told 7News his plan to capture the large animal.

“Give it a little bit to kind of warm up, get a little more active, he’ll be out sunning, and I also have a little bit of bait out there,” Kimmel said, “so I have a catch pole and some gloves, and I’m gonna try to sneak up on him and grab him.”

He’s also using chicken thighs attached to trees to lure the lizard.

FWC has also set up traps with dead rodents inside.

“I’m hoping to capture him, be able to re-home him, find a good home for him or possibly the University of Florida may be interested in him for research,” Kimmel said.

The trapper said he isn’t leaving his post until he catches the animal.

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