DENVER (AP) â€“ A sheriff has warned residents in a tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs that a strong, aggressive 6-foot lizard that eats small animals â€“ including dogs and cats â€“ is on the loose in the area.
Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensinger said Tuesday that a 25-pound pet Nile monitor lizard has gone missing after breaking a mesh leash and crawling away.
Ensinger said about 400 homes in the Woodland Park area were warned. He added that the animal, which escaped Monday and is known as Dino, has not bitten any humans â€“ yet.
â€śWe have a 6-foot reptile out and about,â€ť Ensinger said. â€śIf it gets hungry enough, we donâ€™t know what it will do.â€ť
Bradley Bundy, a veterinarian at Dublin Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, said the lizard could inflict a nasty bite if cornered.
â€śThis kiddo could hurt someone if they donâ€™t know how to restrain it,â€ť Bundy said. He added that the lizards are sold in area pet stores and look cute when theyâ€™re only 8 inches long, but they can grow to reach 9 feet when they get older.
Ensinger said officers may use a tracking dog if Dino isnâ€™t located by Tuesday afternoon.
â€śIâ€™m not going after it,â€ť Ensinger said. â€śI donâ€™t do reptiles.â€ť