WATCH: Durban rescuer’s first catch of 2023, a feisty 1m monitor lizard in Westville yard

Screenshot of a Nile monitor lizard caught at a Westville North house.

A screenshot from a video showing a Nile monitor lizard which was caught at a Westville North house.

Published Jan 2, 2023


Durban – Local snake catcher Nick Evans said his first rescue of 2023 was not a snake, but a big Nile monitor lizard at a Westville North property on New Year’s Day.

Evans said the monitor lizard, also known as a likkewaan, uXamu or woodumboo, wandered into the garden of the property.

He said the homeowners acted quickly, locking their dog up immediately.

“Monitor lizards are frequently killed by dogs. They then called me, and also kept an eye on the lizard, which helps. A perfect example of how to react in such a situation,” Evans said.

With reference to the video footage of the rescue, Evans said water/Nile monitors are fast and incredible swimmers.

In the video the lizard evades Evans by running onto the thatch roof of a small outdoor structure, before trying to hide at the bottom of the swimming pool.

“I thought I’d be wasting my time trying to catch the water monitor in the water by swimming after it. Huge thanks to the gardener, and the homeowner for their help.

“I collected data off of it before releasing it to contribute to a research project I am assisting with,” he said.